Buy experiences not stuff scientifically proven to be right for happiness
Well! Thanks to an articlebutterbee linked to, I now know my long-standing preference to "give experiences not stuff" (or in this case buy them) is actually the right tack to take in terms of creating more happiness in my life! Apparently "experiential purchases, such as a meal out or theater tickets, result in increased well-being because they satisfy higher order needs, specifically the need for social connectedness and vitality -- a feeling of being alive." So travel and theater really are doing it for me - not that I wouldn't complain about having a decent pair of waterproof shoes right now. For that matter, I think an exception should be made for books, because they are things that give you experiences ... in your head.
So that's it, I'm living on ratty furniture for the rest of my life and spending all of my money on theater and travel. W00T!