Buying a gift can feel like a test. You want it to show thoughtfulness and how you've taken the recipients interests and personality into account. Yet according to the authors of a new psychology paper this isn't an optimal approach.
You and the recipient will likely feel closer to one another if you buy a gift that says something about you not them. It's an act of personal disclosure. Sharing intimacies with others – our private thoughts and feelings is a powerful relationship catalyst. The researchers are suggesting that giving a gift that reveals something of yourself can have a similar effect.
This means that people may be better off offering more self-reflective gifts to build stronger social connections.
The Language of Gifts by Deanna Washington tells us that we should also look at the preference of type of gift of the recipient.
I try to give people gifts that make memories and gifts they will treasure for years to come. Gifts that are unique to each person's spirit.
When I buy a gift I make sure I write in the card about the meaning of the gift. It is truly the thought and not the cost. But it must have much thought ad love put into it.
Make a gift a cause that matters in their name. An example would be a donation to the cancer society.
What makes you happier, giving or receiving. The short answer is neither. Psycologists Tim Kasser and Kennon M Sheldon analyzed Christmas experiences that could make people feel better and broke it down to %.
- Time and family
- Religious Activities
- Helping Others
- Sensual enjoyment of the holiday (food and drink)
They found that people spending time shopping, wrapping gifts, and spending $ gave them little holiday joy.
A gift reveals the giver. Christmas giving makes us anxious, not just because it's an exchange but it is revelatory.
John F Sherry explored The Dark Side of the Gift and found that people are fare more ambivalent and even negative about gift giving than our culture suggests.
Potential givers found a way of easing the stress of the holidays and giving you and edge on keeping your cool, not to mention your spirit.
- The genuine giver: They really think about you and pick a gift.
- Status Hound:
- Wolf in sheep's clothing. They think of a wonderful gift, but Christmas is about them, not the receiver.
- Power Player: They are likeliest to hurt or disappoint. They give a gift that has something in in for them. For an example a husband gives his wife a vacuum cleaner.
- The complainer: They go on and on about all the inconveniences of buying you the present.
As mentioned earlier, the five love languages will help you decide on a gift for someone. You must look at their spirit or their preferences.
Gary Chapman wrote the book The Five Love Languages. He says that there are five major types of gifts people enjoy getting. They include gifts, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service and physical touch.
My suggestion is to take all of these things into consideration.
First. Think about what type of present the person would really enjoy. It may be the gift of service verses a sweater or tool kit. Think about how you can put your personality into the gift. If you are giving your grand-kids a present maybe they would rather get tickets to Disney on ice which you can take them too than to get another toy or new outfit. They really want to spend quality time with you.
You may want to take your parents to a play or concert instead of buying them something that they really don't need. Spending time with loved ones is one of the best ways to create memories.
One of my suggestions is a gift card. It could be to one of their favorite places or have them try something new. If you live in the Minneapolis area, a gift card to TasteofWayzata would be great. They offer food tours. This could be a family event and build memories. Of course I always think travel certificates are good. It doesn't matter if it is for a weekend or more. Many memories are created with travel.
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