The Holiday Season Is Almost Here: How to Pick More Meaningful Gifts
30 November, 2021
In case you haven’t been doing a countdown, we’re here to tell you that it’s just 36 days before Christmas!
Some people regard holiday gift-giving as materialistic and capitalistic, a way to blend with what this consumerist society dictates mankind should do once November and December kick in. But, with respect to varying opinions, we beg to differ. This may sound cliche but it’s really the thought that counts! You may say that our love language is gifted because the mere gesture to give something tangible (and to receive as well, who are we kidding) before the year ends is something that makes our hearts flutter; more so, if it’s for and from a person we love.
But if you just feel obligated to give gifts, studies have rounded up some ways on how to put more meaning into the whole gift-giving process. This includes making it a more genuine and enjoyable experience for the giver and the recipient.
1. You should know the person you are giving a gift to.
A good gift starts with knowing the recipient. Your gift will have so much more meaning if you know what ticks them and what wasn’t. This would mean knowing your recipient’s interests and experiences and going through your memories together so that you’ll have an idea of what the best gift for them will be. Someone who buys meaningful gifts won’t give the same gift to any of their friends because they would put in the effort to tailor fit each gift to each person.
Practicality is also one big factor. More often than not, people would go with fancy gifts that aren’t really practical. LiveScience cites one example of giving a gift certificate to an expensive, faraway restaurant which may appear desirable versus giving a gift certificate to a cheaper but closer restaurant which is practical. You might be surprised that people actually prefer the more practical choice. The rule of thumb should be to give a gift that the recipient would like versus giving a gift that you want to give.
A practical gift can be something that the person needs but don’t want to splurge on themselves. Say, for instance, the recipient must have started working from home since the pandemic and has been complaining about neck and back pain. Buying them an ergonomic office chair is something they would most likely appreciate because it will give them comfort while working daily. You may also give them a height-adjustable standing desk that could improve their efficiency while working at home.
2. Personalize gifts or give special hand-me-downs.
Something that you personally made would surely tug the heartstrings of the recipient. It could be cookies that you baked for hours, a sweater that you knitted yourself, a poem that you wrote, or a video compilation of your memories together. People feel more loved with homemade gifts because of the effort it took to produce them, and they appreciate the hours dedicated to finish them.
A family heirloom, or something that meant a lot to you and to the family across generations, is also a gift that the recipient would most likely value as well. The symbolism it represents is something more meaningful than anything cash could buy.
3. Gift experiences.
Some people appreciate memories more than physical gifts. If the recipient has this kind of personality, then gifting him or her with an experience such as a concert pass, a flight ticket, or a gym membership, would make them feel more connected to the giver.
One problem with this however is the giver’s hesitance to gift experiences to people they are not close to. They might assume that the recipient may feel off about it but on the contrary, this is actually the safe bet. Research has discovered that those who expect material gifts and receive experiences instead are actually left satisfied after the experience. And if you’re being anxious about spending the experience together, you don’t even have to! Once the recipient uses it, they won’t forget the giver for the experiential gift and those memories will last them a lifetime.
4. Donate in the name of the recipient.
There is nothing more fulfilling than being altruistic or promoting someone else’s welfare before yours. When you give your friend that fulfillment of helping a charity or giving to others, it would most likely make them happy. Studies have found out that happier people give more to charity and being generous makes people happy. The International Journal of Happiness and Development discovered that more people became happy after giving with acknowledgment versus giving anonymously.
Whatever you decide to give to a friend, a family, or a partner, what is most important is that will come from a place of love. People can identify what’s genuine and what’s not. Consider your gift as an expression of love that the end goal is to make the receiving end happy. Do not think about the image that you create from the gift you’ll give, but rather focus on what will make the recipient happy.
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