You can do it right this year giving according to science.

December 14, 2017

While we know your emotions have a lot to do when gift giving, science can get involved too.  Here are some gift giving tips to ease that emontional stress:


Do: Give people gifts that they want.

The Journal of Experimental Social Psychology found that you might overestimate the impact of a surprise gift. People tend to appreciate getting things they specifically asked for more than unsolicited presents. 

Do: Pick a gift card.

Gift cards may seem impersonal or lazy, but surveys have found that they’re popular.  The National Retail Federation says they were the most requested gift of 2015. 

Don’t: Give gifts on their behalf.

Making a charitable donation in a friend or family member’s name may seem like the perfect holiday gift but researchers found that casual acquaintances often feel slighted by them, potentially because the selection focuses “on the symbolic meaning of the gift,” rather than on the recipient herself.

Do: Give gifts that reflect your audience—and yourself.  

You can give something that reflects the receiver's personality, and they'll like that just fine.  However, the experts say that something that reflects YOUR personality will be appreciated even more.  

Don’t: Splurge on something flashy.

Studies suggest it’s the item—not the price tag—that matters most. You might think that the price tag means something to the recipient, the value is actually in the gift itself. 

Do: Give gifts that will last.

It's another hidden fact that people actually prefer gifts they can use for months and years to come. . . so forget that "can of spring loaded snakes" and find something that will be used next year and the year after(!).   

Don’t: Dress up a bad gift.

If you know right away that the gifrt is going to be "underwhelming", don't try to dress it up by using fancy wrapping paper or a big bow.  This could make the disappointment even larger.  If you see a gift that you think won't make the receiver happy - maybe you should find something else for them.