How people react to gifts matters hugely to the giver and the receiver.
We all want to give a gift that brings delight to the other person right? And when receiving a gift there is always an expectation we should react in a certain way.
There's always a strong pressure to be grateful for a gift, even if it's something we secretly don't like. Does anyone else's voice pitch go up dramatically with their "thank youuuuuu, you didn't have to do thaaaaat" response (meanwhile secretly wishing they didn't, because this hideous waste of money isn't going on sight anywhere in your house!!) lol
Research has studied people’s attitudes to giving and receiving gifts that fail miserably to please their recipients, as well as the indirect signals that leak out when someone pretends to like a gift they actually hate.
How you handle the gift-giving situation is very important because the wrong gift can potentially change relationships. I know I have received some gifts over the years from close girlfriends and upon opening the gift, realised how even some of my closest friends, don't know me at all!
From this, we now live in a world of giving cash or store vouchers as gifts - very impersonal and without a doubt the easy way out. Last year I witnessed two people on Christmas day, both gift each other an envelope of cash. Some of you out there would probably be over the moon with that scenario but I would be horrified if that happened to me! But saying that, I LOVE gift-giving and have now made it my career.
Now, i would be lying if I didn't say I winced at the Porcelain Dolly my Grandmother gave me for MY 21st BIRTHDAY!! Hello! I'm 21 Grandma not bloody 12!!! What that experience has taught me though (apart from realising how unfamiliar and unaware she was of one her many grandchildren, bless her) is that times like that produce memories. As a family we talk and laugh about it in memory of the late great Thelma Hubbard. But if she had of given me a card with cash that day, as big as the smile on my face would have been, I wouldn't remember it at all, ALL these years later.
This brings me to the topic of re-gifting (thanks granny). If you haven't already re-gifted a present, I promise you, you have been on the receiving end of one. I am personally all for re-gifting, as long as the said gift is going to someone that it is more suited to. Definitely don't ever re-gift at the last minute to save yourself a trip to the shops. A thoughtless gift can be seen and more importantly felt a million miles away. Unfortunately, due to our lives becoming increasingly more and more time poor, sometimes it's unavoidable as the only other option is to give nothing. #awkward
Another gifting encounter we have all experienced is the good old Wedding Wishing Well. (Insert rolled eyes emoticon here) Now this has probably been at every wedding I have attended in the last 10 years at least. And most likely at the person who is reading this blog. #sorrynotsorry
The first few years I got on the Wishing Well bandwagon with everybody else but now I am personally really over it and have now decided to always give a tangible gift, you know, so they can 'talk and laugh' about me for years to come lol. Usually I gift one of my Boutique Gift Boxes that I custom design to the couples taste and style etc. I do realise that it can be lots of fun when sitting and counting all the money you have been given but believe me, judgements fly around the room in these scenarios like the bride and groom's knickers were the night before.
So what's the right answer. All we can really do is what feels right and financially viable for us. One thing I have always said is we know a year out that Christmas and Birthdays are coming up and there really isn't actually any excuse to be un-organised. Even more so with the likes of a growing number of amazing on-line stores offering personalised gifts delivered to your (or your friends) door.
Do you believe people reveal what they really think of a gift through their gestures and non-verbal communication? Which gifts do you think are most likely to succeed or fail? Who gets the most anxious about gift-giving, men or women? Am I the only one that is no longer a fan of the Wishing Well?
Check out our website http://www.hamperandhamper.com.au/ if you are ever stuck for gift inspiration.