Christmas is a time of celebration, relaxation and gift giving. Yet there is so much social pressure to buy the perfect gift. As a result your stress and anxiety levels increase, because you are worried about buying the wrong gift. You end up falling into the trap of consumerism over a real connection with people.
So why do we buy gifts when if causes us so much anxiety?
There are two main reasons for gift giving: (a) it spreads happiness and (b) it builds relationships.Gift giving can satisfy the first reason, but it does not really help the second because communication may get lost in translation.
What if you misinterpreted what someone finds valuable over materialistic items which may sit on a shelf after opening and never be touched again? Think socks that people generally receive on Father’s Day or a perfume on Mother’s Day. These may be traditional and practical, but are they desired and thoughtful.
You want to go for a balance of thoughtful and desired when selecting a gift.
When it comes to buying gifts, especially at Christmas time, there is an unconscious expectation on buying the perfect gift. It doesn’t help that consumerism places such high standards on the perceived value of recipients and commercial advertising . Keeping up with expectations can o lead to increased stress and this not a good thing (especially during the holiday season).
Gift giving should be thoughtful and strengthen the the quality of relationships between people.
Connection trumps consumerism
If doesn’t matter how much the gift costs, it is all about how the gifts are received. Much research has gone into the psychology of gift giving to show that practical and thoughtful are preferred. Thoughtful gifts strengthen the bond between giver and receiver. There is no difference between whether a gift costs $100 or $1000, it is about the value your receiver feel and the connection you make as many people tend to feel closer to those who give convenient and practical gifts.
Experience trumps materialistic
Practical and personal is best when thinking of gifts at Christmas. Experiences are generally valued over things. Spending quality time with people you care about and love have shown to improve relationships and communication. A good conversation may be the best gift you can give someone.
Remember, the gift you give this Christmas does not have to be grand. Your company and a good conversation may.be all that is needed.