The experiential holiday gift-giving trend continues

October 30, 2017





The experiential gift-giving trend continues to gain popularity as an increasing number of families and individuals seek ways to streamline their lives and the number of possessions they own. In 2015, a National Retail Federation survey found that 22 percent of consumers surveyed planned to give an experience-type gift – such as tickets to an event or concert, a trip, or some other special activity – and 37 percent said they would like to receive one.


But there is a deeper aspect to this growing movement. Consumer researchers at Wharton School of Business recently published a paper discussing how experiential gifts are more socially connecting than materials gifts. What they found in their studies showed that “when recipients receive an experience, regardless of whether they share in that experience with the gift-giver, they feel more connected to the gift giver as a result of it, compared to receiving a material gift.”


Mike Nadolski, executive director of The Mendel Center at Lake Michigan College, says the results of the study aren’t surprising, especially as it applies to performances and events.


“The arts allow people to come together with loved ones, friends, and others in their community. Sharing that opportunity through gift-giving is a natural extension of that spirit of connection,” stated Nadolski. “It’s a meaningful gesture that shows a great level of caring because it gives someone permission to set aside time for themselves to relax, have a great time, and create special memories.”


This year, The Mendel Center has 16 events scheduled that people are already purchasing for those on their gift lists this holiday season. The line-up includes:


Special Engagement

Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis


Tuesday, November 28, 2017, 7:30 p.m.


Mix & Mingle Holiday Party

Grand Upton Hall

Tuesday, December 19, 2017, 5:30 p.m.


Bryan Lubeck hosts Rejoice 2017 – A Tapestry of Holiday Music


Tuesday, December 19, 2017, 7:30 p.m.


Special Engagement

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Live – King for a Day


Friday, January 19, 2018, 7 p.m.


Winter Delights

Grand Upton Hall

Saturday, January 20, 2018, 5–9 p.m.


Special Engagement

Art Garfunkel: In Close-Up


Friday, January 26, 2018, 8 p.m.


Vitaly: An Evening of Wonders


Friday, February 16, 2018, 8 p.m.

VIP Experience package available & sold separately




Thursday, February 22, 2018, 7:30 p.m.


Shamrocked Irish Feast Pre-Show Party

Grand Upton Hall

Saturday, March 17, 2018, 6:30 p.m.


Rockin’ Road to Dublin


Saturday, March 17, 2018, 8 p.m.


Captain “Sully” Sullenberger

Part of The Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan Speakers Series


Thursday, April 12, 2018


Mutts Gone Nuts


Saturday, April 14, 2018, two shows at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.


Furry Friends Luncheon

Deckmann Studio

Saturday, April 14, 2018, Noon


Special Engagement

1964 The Tribute


Saturday, April 21, 2018, 8 p.m.




Tuesday, May 1, 2018, 7 p.m.


Steve Martin

Part of The Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan Speakers Series


Tuesday, May 8, 2018


Gift cards

Mendel Center gift cards are available in any amount and may be used for any ticket purchase through The Mendel Center Box Office.


Tickets and gift cards are available at, by calling 269-927-8700, option 1, or by visiting the box office in person at 2755 E. Napier Avenue, Benton Harbor, Michigan weekdays 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. and one hour before event times.


Schedule subject to change. Published ticket prices do not include fees.


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