It’s that time of the year when people’s attention is focused on the holiday ritual of gift-giving. Shoppers are scurrying about looking for the right gift for the special people in their lives.
CNN - 3 Myths about Gift Giving
1.) Stuff is good. The first thing most of us think of when we think about what to give? Stuff. From flat-screen televisions to clothes to jewelry to the lowly gift card, we tend to associate giving gifts with giving a physical object. But in many cases, more ephemeral gifts can bring more happiness.
Gifts of experiences (like concerts and special meals) are a better bet than material things. Why? Not only do experiences make us happier than stuff, but experiences brings givers and recipients closer together -- and come with the added bonus that the giver sometimes gets to tag along.
Or consider giving an even more intangible gift: time. People tend to report that some of their least favorite activities are household chores. (Few among us truly enjoy cleaning the kid's bathroom.) Think about it: would you rather someone give you yet another scarf, or buy you out of bathroom duty for a week?
2.) Uniqueness is key. We have all received "unique" gifts from people who try to get us things we would not otherwise buy for ourselves. Think 19th century folk art, when we really wanted an iPad. passengers Christmas gifts
Givers tend to think that the amount of thought they put into a gift signals to recipients their level of investment, which leads them to buy obscure, hard-to-find gifts to prove that they have devoted effort to finding the perfect gift. Research shows, however, that recipients would really just like, well, gifts they like. If they ask for an iPad, guess what they want? An iPad.
3.) Expensive is better. When scrambling for that perfect gift as the mall is closing, many shoppers default to a seemingly sensible strategy: I'm not sure which of these two gifts she'll like, but buying the pricier one will show I care. Again, though, research shows that givers are getting it wrong.
Now, we've all received expensive gifts we liked, so going big is not always wrong. But believing that expensive gifts automatically show that you care -- whether giving to your fiancée, your children, or your boss -- can leave your gift recipients cold.
Still thinking you give perfect gifts, each and every time? Most people have fallen prey to at least one of the giving traps above. It just feels right to give expensive, unique stuff. But reconsidering whether our gift purchases are actually paying off in recipient happiness (and trying some of these giving tips) can maximize your chances of getting the most "bang for your giving buck." Read full article here.