Everyone knows at least one person who has mastered the art of gift giving. God bless ’em. The folks who are truly great at gifting are rare. How do they nail it? Every. Single. Time.
In a Time article, the authors looked at gift giving as more of a science than an art. To summarize their research, they considered some gifts to be safe, like gift cards, wine, books, movies, and chocolate. They considered other gifts to be more risky, like clothing, jewelry, and art. They surveyed approximately 10,000 everyday Joe Schmoes. Half of the people were asked questions as gift recipients and the same number were asked questions as givers. What they discovered was rather surprising.
Their survey results showed that most gifts we give are safe gifts, but that the gifts recipients appreciate most are risky gifts.
As gift givers, what can we learn from this study? According to this piece of research, gift givers underestimate how much a recipient will appreciate a higher-risk gift — one that you think your friend will love, but you aren’t certain.
We look at the range of gifts that we can give, imagine the worst possible reaction to a bad gift, and thus the safe gifts call out to us. In contrast, the person getting the gifts does not see the whole range of gifts we considered; they focus on the gift they actually got as token of our friendship.
Does this ring true for you?
Think about the last time you gave a gift. Was it safe? Or was there a margin of uncertainty? Did you like it, or love it?
Think about the last time you received a gift. How risky was it? Do you treasure it?
Share your thoughts in the comment section below! And happy gifting! Whether you find it to be an art or a science, the season of giving is surely pure joy.Tap into Murdoch's Gift Guide for Gifting Help