The 7 Habits of Great Gift Givers

November 02, 2016

The 7 Habits of Great Gift Givers

“It's not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” ― Mother Teresa

Here at Designer in a box, we believe in the magic of gift giving. There is something very special about the gesture — big or small — that exists solely to share and express love and gratitude. That is what Christmas is all about. Showing appreciation for the ones you love.

So, if you want to be a better gift giver this holiday season, embrace these seven habits:

1. Plan ahead.

It's important to listen and start gathering data early.  Remember when your loved one mentions something that he/she would love, but wouldn’t ever budget to buy for him/herself.  Write it down or make a mental note. Maybe even buy the gift when you think of it, even if it isn’t the month of December and hide it somewhere until it's time. That way you can get your shopping done early and avoid the chaos of the shopping centre! 

2. Don't focus on cost.

Don’t be afraid to splurge a little!  So many people put limits on their gift expenditures, but the goal is to put a smile on the face of your loved one.  If it’s reasonable and won’t break your bank, don’t be afraid to make a great impression. Plus, studies show that giving gifts busts stress, promotes happiness, and even leads to a longer life... so even though you might be splurging a little, it's a good feeling. 

3. Keep it simple and practical. 

A 2009 study in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology found that gift givers tend to think a fancy, lavish gift will be appreciated more, but receivers are actually happier with simple, more practical presents. In another study, participants filled out a survey in which they imagined either giving or getting a gift certificate to a restaurant. Givers thought people would like a voucher for a five-star place a few towns over—but receivers preferred gift cards for a restaurant that was middle of the road but right around the corner. 

Think about what that person needs, what they use, and upgrade it. Treat them to something they might not treat themselves to. Splurge a little on something practical and rather than frivolous, it’ll feel special.

4. Think about presentation.

It's no coincidence that the words "present" and "presentation" are connected. The way a gift is wrapped is all a part of the giving experience. Keeping simple and elegant is they way to go. If you don' have gift wrap, consider using brown paper and twine or invest in a nice sating ribbon.

5. Make it personal. Tell a story.

Care about the backstory of your gift. Maybe you thought of the gift because of a funny thing that happened between you two or maybe the gift itself has a bPeople are intrigued by the life-line of objects and how they came to be, who made them and what their purpose is. This connects people to the objects and makes them resonate on a deeper level. Consider the story as an extension of the gift and remember it’s the personal thought that makes a gift shine. It is not about perfection, but rather creating an emotional connection!

6. When in doubt, ask.

If you're not sure what to get someone, ask them or ask one of their close friends. Research from Harvard and Stanford business schools found that gift receivers in general, are much happier when they're given exactly what they asked for rather than something “thoughtful” that wasn't on their list.

7. Enjoy it.

Nothing beats the feeling of giving a gift, so don't forget to enjoy it. If you can, give the gift in person or schedule a Skype or FaceTime call.