Monday, September 19, 2016

3 Ways to Be a Better Gift Giver

By Sunny Sea Gold on November 1, 2015


Want to become that good a giver? Follow these three evidence-based rules for giving good presents—just in time for the holidays!

#1 Simple and practical is good. A 2009 study in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology found that although givers tend to think a fancier, expensive gift will be appreciated more, receivers are actually happier with cheaper, more practical presents.


#2 Don't overdo the gift wrap. When Novemsky told me about some research he is doing now that suggests wrapping a present in a plain brown paper bag—or not at all—might be better than something gorgeous and beribboned, ... But it made sense once he explained: pretty wrapping raises expectations for a gift and increases the risk of the receiver being disappointed if the present doesn't live up to them. “It's like giving someone a Sears gift card in a Tiffany box,” he says. So unless you're sure the gift is going to kill—there's a Tiffany ring in that Tiffany box—consider toning down the packaging.


#3 Ask what the person wants. I used to think my husband's family was super weird for giving one another gift lists at Christmas and on birthdays. Where's the surprise? The effort? The proof that you know the person so well that you can divine exactly what he or she wants without asking? But there comes a point in your life when you just don't want any more useless—though well-intentioned—junk.


This article was originally published with the title "How to Be a Better Gift Giver"

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