Now that the Thanksgiving turkey has been eaten (including the leftovers), the rest of the holiday season is here bring with it a number of gift-giving holidays. If you’re one of the Black Friday shoppers, you might have been done by 3:00 pm on Friday and spent the weekend after wrapping presents. You’re done with shopping! But if you’re like most people, you’ll be searching for gifts up until the last minute. We have an idea that might sound a bit odd at first, but when you think about it it really makes sense: martial arts lessons.

Hear us out! It really makes a lot of sense when you think about it…or when you read the points below. Yeah, do that. Let’s take a look at why you might want to get someone the present of martial arts classes as a gift.

It Gets Them Exercising in Winter

Winter is probably the most difficult season to exercise in. Runners have a hard time because of the ice on the streets, team sports are more popular in the summer months, and the regular activities that many of us engage in that don’t feel like exercise — landscaping, taking the dog for long walks around the neighborhood, or even washing the car — are often put off until spring arrives. And as the holiday meals pack on pounds, many people will just wait for a few months to try to burn off the winter gut.

Martial arts classes are an excellent way to get people moving in winter, something that can be difficult to do when the weather isn’t cooperating. (If someone has been saying they should spend more time in the gym, consider getting them the gift of our martial arts fitness training). It helps your friend of loved one get their muscles moving, ensuring they stay healthy when the days are short and activity seems to stop at 5:00 when the sun goes down.

And speaking of early evenings…

Exercise Makes A Person Happier

When the sun goes down so early during winter, it can affect the moods of most people. If someone is prone to depression, they are more likely to feel even more depressed. Other people who exhibit normal mental health the rest of the year can be affected by seasonal affective disorder (SAD) during the winter.

Luckily, exercise makes people happier. The reasons are numerous, but what it most often comes down to is the release of endorphins by the brain. It also gives people a feeling of accomplishment, because after a day of sitting at a desk they can say “I got moving today and helped my body!” Also, because someone is exercising, they’re going to feel better about their weight, and that can lead to better overall moods.

Of course, there are two reasons the endorphin rush happens. The first is because the brain is compensating for the “pain” from exercise and wants to reward you. But the other reason is because…

It’s Fun!

Our martial arts lessons are fun, no doubt about it. And when you think about it, the point of many gifts is “fun” (yet another reason to not give your wife a blender for an anniversary gift). If you’re looking for a gift for a child, kids martial arts lessons are a great option and will be a lot more fun than your average toy. So if you know someone who’s been looking for new experience, consider getting them the gift of martial arts lessons. And speaking of experiences…

Most People Don’t Need More Stuff

Unless you’ve recently gone on a “material possessions purge,” you can probably look around your house right now and find dozens of items you don’t need. Most of us don’t really need more stuff in our lives, and because of online shopping most of us already purchased that thing we wanted. We never wait around for someone to get us what we want, because thanks to credit cards and free shipping, delayed gratification really doesn’t exist in most people’s lives.

Ask someone what they want for Christmas and the answer is often “I don’t know” or “I haven’t really thought about it.” Because most everyone has everything they need, we end up with things we don’t even want. Then those things end up on a shelf, or broken within the month, or used once and donated to Goodwill.

That’s why experiences are a much better gift than something material. Give someone an experience and they’re more likely to enjoy it more than something tangible. That’s because, when they look back on their life, they’re more likely to remember something they did than something they had. And science has our back on this one; people who spend their money on experiences are happier than those who spend their money on things.

Even if you give them the gift of classes at a martial arts school and they don’t renew the membership, we bet they’ll be glad they did it. Why? Because it was a new experience. Who knows, Brazilian jiu jitsu could be just the new hobby they were looking for. And they might just pick up some helpful tips…

It’s A Gift That Lasts

As we were just saying, things have a tendency of not lasting. Tchotchkes break, advancing technology leaves electronics obsolete, clothes go out of style, and food gets eaten.

Martial arts classes, on the other hand, can last someone a lifetime. Now we’re not saying that three months of classes will teach them all they need to know, but a few lessons could give them some skills that might get them out of a tricky situation sometime in their lives. If we can teach them an escape that gets them out of a real-world lock, that’s much better than a plastic penguin to put on their shelf. Sure, they like penguins, but come on!

Well, that about does it, and we think we’ve made a pretty good argument as to why giving someone the gift of something like martial arts classes is a lot better than giving them some thing. They might not remember who gave them the object, but we bet they’ll remember who gave them the experience.