It is the time of year to think about others – and what will excite them when they open a gift

We have been trained you want to give the perfect Christmas gift, and nothing is worse than seeing disappointment on someone’s face when they open your gift.  The wallet opens and the heart opens as people pick something special for those in their life. Not only can it be fiscally stressful, but it can be emotion al make sure they LOVE what you give.  Well, science shows up how to pick the perfect present. Gift giving is an art.  And there is a study looking at the about it. For real, here is some data around gift giving.


The research, led by Jeff Galak of Carnegie Mellon University, says gift-givers tend to look for presents offering the recipient a moment of awe or surprise, one which will put a big smile from them during the moment of  the exchange. These are good and valid reasons to give a gift, but people tend to forget about a few things when we buy presents; is the person really going to use this? Will the present be of value over time? Is the giver looking for instant gratification? 

It’s tough, but the study recommends to pull ourselves out of the equation, to be a little less selfish – we know it’s hard – and to try to give a gift that will be long lasting and that will truly matter. Several people think use gift giving as a way to change a person, not celebrating who they are.


The research demonstrates giving presents is complicated because gift givers and recipients are thinking about totally different things. Gift recipients want something that they’ll actually use or enjoy and will stand the test of time, It may be something not be so cool while unwrapping at a Christmas party.

Bottom line is, during Christmas when you really want to buy your friend a tree ornament that looks amazing and they’ve been eyeing for a while, it will definitely pay off to hold back on those eggnog induced feelings and buy them something that you know they’ll need in the future. 


Similar Posts