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The Art of Giving Good Gifts
Gift giving is an art some are proficient at, and everyone else can learn. We love gift giving, and firmly believe Christmas ornaments always make great gifts, especially personalized Christmas ornaments. But, there is a deeper vein to gift giving than just buying and giving a gift. Thoughtful gifts aren’t always the most expensive or extravagant gifts. Something meaningful might not always mean big or pricey. The art of gift giving starts in the heart and connects people in a significant way.
It Feels Good to Give
The age-old adage, “it is better to give than to receive” might be overused, but it remains true. Brain scientists have done different studies tracking brain activity within the gift buying and giving process. Their findings, not surprisingly, reveal more dopamine (the “feel good” chemical) is released and the “happy” and “empathetic” parts of the brain light up when people are shopping for gifts and giving gifts to those they love. Giving is good for us, and the more we practice, the better we’ll become at it. Spending more money on others than we do on ourselves encourages a more generous mindset. Buying for others allows to consider others, and when we’re considering others, we make less self-centered decisions.
Let Big Gifts Stand Alone
Research has also been done on giving a small gift along side a big gift, and the effect it has on the recipient. It has been found that a related, tag-along gift actually cheapens the larger (or expensive) gift. If you buy your loved one a significant gift, resist the urge to buy the other, related, but cheaper, item to go with it. If you give an expensive shirt, don’t add a tie or socks to the gift. If you buy an expensive set of headphones, resist the urge to get an extra case or accessory. The one exception to this rule is topping a gift with an ornament gift topper. We would say an ornament adds a thoughtful touch to a gift without taking away the value of the gift. We also believe our glass-blown ornaments stand alone as a gift. The right ornament speaks to the heart.
Often a practical gift is a thoughtful one, but many times a practical gift lacks heart. Impractical but thoughtful gifts tend to be memorable. A practical gift for a mom would be a small, portable vacuum cleaner for her minivan. She would appreciate it, and most likely put it to good use. An impractical, but meaningful gift would be a skateboard or a nice set of watercolor paints to indulge her dream. Knowing the hopes and dreams of the people you love helps you come up with impractical, but inspiring gifts. Don’t let practicality be the driving force of your gift giving. Give gifts with whimsy and impracticality to get to the heart of someone’s dream.
In our current consumeristic society, we can have anything we want or need very quickly. Tangible gifts don’t last long, but memories last forever. This year shift your gift giving to experiences to share with the ones you love. Experiences can be extravagant or simple, and both will be chock-full of meaning. A concert, special meal, picnic in the park, or surprise trip provide layers of gifts, the most significant being the time spent and memories made. These are what live on, and create closer relationships, giving life more meaning.
Gift giving will never go out of style, but it’s a skill that can always be improved upon. With some thought and planning, the art of giving gifts can be your signature calling card. Thinking of others always brings more satisfaction and happiness than having a lot of stuff ever can.