Why Do We Give Gifts?

This may surprise you, but psychologists have found that giving gifts is “a surprisingly complex and important part of human interaction, helping to define relationships and strengthen bonds with family and friends”.  In fact, psychologists say it is often the giver, rather than the recipient, who reaps the biggest psychological gains from a gift.

Giving gifts is a tradition that has been passed on from one generation to another but there are many other reasons why giving is important! Gifting is a perfect way to celebrate a special occasion, to show appreciation, to say thank you, or to show someone you care. If like me you find it hard to express your true feelings in words, offering a token of recognition will not only represent your feelings, but will allow the recipient to know grateful you really are of them.

Giving does not always have to be in the form of a gift, it is equally valuable to offer a kind word, a compliment and most simply, a friendly smile goes a long way in saying thank you for all you do.

But, can you remember a special occasion where presents have not passed hands?

It is quite hard to imagine isn’t it!  For as long as I can remember, gifts have always been ‘present’ during special occasions throughout the year, be it Birthdays, Christmas, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Weddings, Anniversaries, New Babies, or even a New Home, gifting has become ‘everyday culture’ of our lives today.

Whether you are gifting to a family member, a friend or someone close to your heart, it is considered proper etiquette for us to give them gifts on a memorable day.

I always go to great lengths to find the perfect present, trying my best to find out what they would love to receive by knowing their current interests and needs. Then I will spend hours, or even days trying to get my hands on the perfect gift. The gift needs to means something to them, not valuable as inexpensive, but just very thoughtful. Something that deeply fits their personality and has great emotional value.

Making someone feel special is more than enough reason to make me want to give more and to show how grateful I am to them for the value and role they play in my life, plus it is great fun!

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Here are a few of my rules for gift giving:

  1. It’s not the gift, but the thought that counts, so think about your gift carefully & tailor it to suit the recipient!
  2. Wrap it beautifully! There is great pleasure to be had, both for the recipient and the giver, in the ceremony of unwrapping a gift.
  3. Always include a thoughtful message with the gift, either on a card or in a letter. Use your message to remember shared moments or strong ties, or maybe just to explain your gift or say thank you.
  4. Personalise it!  We all want to be remembered, especially by those who are important to us. By giving someone a present that is monogrammed or personalised, these items become a keepsake.
  5. Give something that you yourself can share in, like a delicious bottle of wine & a box of chocolates! This provides the perfect excuse to spend more time with the person you are gifting!
  6. If the gift can come as a surprise, then all the better. If not, you can still make it a bit of a surprise by double wrapping it or, better still, giving two gifts, the first being a sort of decoy.
  7. Sometimes, sharing special memories in a creative way incur no costs, and these gifts can be the most charming and thoughtful gifts. The monetary value of the gift is unimportant!

So, there you have it, this is how gifting makes me feel!  Please feel free to share the best responses you have received from your gifting experiences and describe the feelings it brings you!

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Katie Topping

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