Christmas and the gift-giving process

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Christmas and the gift-giving process

It is that time of year again. The festive season is upon us and you have to deliver. For some people, they embrace the festivities surrounding Christmas with enthusiasm and are willing to spend expressively on their loved ones. Whereas for others that affiliate themselves more closely with Scrooge’s festive values, participation in the gift-giving process is derived purely from an obligatory motive. If you tend to struggle on this occasion, then have come to the right place.


The nature of gift-giving

The ubiquity of gift giving is apparent when looking at the different cultural rituals that exist across the globe. These rituals, more often than not, include the gift giving process as a form of symbolic communication that are able to convey certain emotions to the recipient.

With presents being the focal point on Christmas, the pressure is on to get it right and to avoid any miscommunications with your gift. Don’t be fooled by the innocence perceived behind the gift-giving process on Christmas and acknowledge that there are existing rules and behaviours. Yes, this may seem just slightly cynical but just ask anybody who has underperformed on this holy occasion and they will likely admit that it did dampen the mood. Apart from the apparent elements of kindness and thoughtfulness, they can sometimes be linked to dynamics of reciprocity and obligation that are capable of facilitating psychological debt.

So what does it come down to? Although this may come across as being slightly trite, balance is the key. Overspending on luxurious gifts can instil guilt in the recipient whereas underspending will make you come across as being stingy lazy. Below we have identified some key guidelines that will help you out.

  • Thoughtfulness
  • Time Investment
  • Relevance

Arguably the most valuable characteristic a gift for any occasion should have. Buying an expensive present just won’t cut it if it doesn’t have any association with the person. If anything it can expose you for laziness which is a fine way to stifle your efforts in conveying benevolence. Opting to purchase a present for its utility function can be a smart move. If your dad has got a shortage of socks, purchasing the London Sock Company’s luxurious socks may be a perfect fit since you are effectively killing 2 bird with 1 one stone.

Believe it or not, you don’t have to invest a lot of money into Christmas presents for it to be appreciated. What is often deemed to being the most valued trait in a gift is its ability to highlight the amount of time that you have invested into acquiring it. For example, it could be the last stamp of a rare collection where you have had to go clearly go out your way to finding this gift.

When it comes to romantic relationships especially, it is significant to make the gift relevant somehow. If you are going to buy her perfume, make sure it is aligned to her tastes and similarly if you are buying him a peaty whiskey – make sure he is a fan of this type! Two very general examples (I know) but you get the picture.

So there we have it, the 3 fundamental values to finding the ideal gift. You now don’t have an excuse to not impress.

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