Christmas Shopping…Giving in the Spirit

Cathy Zimmer

In our last blog “Give Your Gifts the Thought That Really Counts,” we explored some gift-giving alternatives that were meant to take the materialistic chaos out of the Christmas shopping season. This month, we’re focusing more on the “why” of gift giving, so we can create more satisfying experiences as both givers and receivers. The “why” may seem obvious, but it turns out the psychology of gift giving is much more complex than you might think.

Why Do We Give Gifts?

The obvious answer to this question is that gift giving is a cultural expectation on certain occasions; in other words, we give gifts because we’re supposed to. While, sadly, that may sometimes be true, there is much more to it than that. We gain intense satisfaction and joy from giving. Gift giving is our way of showing our appreciation and gratitude for someone, but this can be tricky because giving a big, expensive gift does not automatically translate into a greater show of appreciation. In fact, flashy gifts can often have the opposite effect if they reflect nothing of the needs or interests of the receiver.

A good gift shows that you were thinking about the person receiving it: what he or she really needs or really wants.  Yes, sometimes we miss the mark. That’s why we have the saying, “It’s the thought that counts.” We say that because the thought does count. It counts a lot. Even when we’re a little off, we’ve sent the message that we’re trying because we value the relationship and want to make it stronger.

How to Be a Better Gift Giver

The internet abounds with gift giving advice; however, being a good gift giver, and receiver for that matter, is really quite simple. Here are a few guidelines:

  • Think about the person you’re giving to and decide what that person needs. The need may be clothing or something for the kitchen, or it may be the reassurance of a personal note or an opportunity for a time out in a relaxing hot bath. You decide what “need” means.
  • Gift giving is an opportunity to bond, so be sure to participate as fully and sincerely as possible in the opportunity.
  • Whenever possible, give your gift directly to the person you got it for. It will mean more if you hand deliver it than if you leave it behind.
  • Remember, a gift isn’t about what you like. It’s about the person you’re giving to!

Finally, thank you for making Treasured Country Gifts part of your gift giving experiences this year. We strive to offer gifts that you can feel good about giving and receiving, which is why everything on our site is locally crafted and made in the USA. 

Happy holidays from our family to yours!