Study Finds Most Americans Interested in Experiences, Not “Stuff”; New Online Guide Points Holiday Shoppers in Right Direction

REDMOND, Wash., Dec. 3, 1997 — The American fascination with getting stuff for the holidays may be waning, according to a recent survey* of more than 1,000 Americans sponsored by Microsoft® Sidewalk
city guide, the personalized guide to entertainment. Six out of 10 people claim they would prefer to receive holiday gifts they can experience rather than traditional gifts they can keep. Why?

  • Although nearly seven out of 10 holiday gifts last year came in the form of “stuff,” 30 percent of those surveyed can’t remember the gifts they received.

  • Nearly one out of three people has actually been embarrassed about the gifts they’ve selected for friends and family.

  • Almost 30 percent of Americans admit to “recycling” gifts they received and didn’t like.

Get Online and Give Gifts That Get Remembered

“When we saw the survey numbers, we weren’t surprised – people have too many ties, plenty of socks, and are willing to buy their own calendars,” said Eric Etheridge, executive producer of Sidewalk. “Meanwhile, most people aren’t getting out and having fun nearly as often as they would like.” That’s why Sidewalk, the city guide to entertainment, has created the Get Up and Go Gift Guide. “Don’t give lame gifts this year,” Etheridge said. “Go to to find the perfect gifts of entertainment and experiences that your friends and family will remember.”

Sidewalk offers an easy solution to the gift giving and receiving dilemma by providing creative entertainment ideas that help shoppers who are short on time make better decisions about their holiday gifts, without ever stepping into a crowded shopping scene.

The interactive Get Up and Go Gift Guide, featured this month on Sidewalk, offers gift ideas for every personality from the weary workaholic and the energetic athlete to the hopeless romantic and the gourmet. Shoppers can simply click the type of person they are shopping for, and Sidewalk will recommend a range of gift ideas that will get their friends and family out and experiencing their cities. Gift suggestions include everything from gourmet cooking classes and ballroom dancing lessons to theater performances, virtual golf sessions and even a 20-minute pure oxygen session to relax and recharge.

The Get Up and Go Gift Guide is tailored for each city and available free of charge on the World Wide Web at ( (connect-time charges may apply). Guides for Boston, Denver, Houston, New York, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Twin Cities and Washington, D.C. are available.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

*Wirthlin Worldwide, based in McLean, Va., conducted the survey. A random nationwide sample of 1,012 people were interviewed via telephone Nov. 7-9, 1997.

Microsoft and Sidewalk are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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