ONE OF MY FAVORITE tenets espoused on HumbleDollar is the emphasis on using our hard-earned money to buy experiences rather than possessions. As you get older, you feel like you have enough things. Indeed, my wife and I spent much of the past year getting rid of excess stuff when we downsized.
Meanwhile, the pandemic has put on hold some of the experiences we look forward to. Prior to 2020, in 24 of the previous 25 years, my wife’s family had held a reunion in the Outer Banks of North Carolina over the Thanksgiving week. Due to the pandemic, we skipped last year. We’re planning to reconvene this year, and the excitement is palpable. We’ll be 46 strong, representing four generations. We have two toddlers who were born since the last reunion in 2019. They’ll be meeting cousins, aunts and uncles for the first time.
As the family has grown, the size of the house we rent—and its price—have also grown. We’re now up to 27 bedrooms and about $13,000 for the week. We spilt the cost among the five families. I think it’s one of the year’s most worthwhile expenditures.
My wife and I, and our two adult sons and their wives, agreed years ago that we don’t need or want presents. But we try to find time to share experiences. Since both of our sons live in or near New York City, we’ve hosted the family at some Broadway shows. In January 2020, weeks before COVID-19 hit New York, we saw Come From Away on Broadway. It’s a wonderful show about how the people of Gander, Newfoundland, opened their town and homes to thousands of travelers who were diverted there on 9/11. Broadway prices are pretty high, but I always enjoy the amazing talent on display. Add to that a show that demonstrates the best in humanity, and I’m a satisfied customer.
We recently bought tickets to take our older grandsons to see Aladdin on Broadway. These, too, were expensive. They’ve also seen the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, but this will be their first Broadway show. We hope they’ll enjoy it—and it’ll be the start of a new tradition of experiences.