To give, to receive

I read an interesting piece in the New Yorker about the trend in gift giving and how much people spend for gifts during festivities.

Why aren’t we better at gift giving? A lot of the time, we don’t know the people we’re shopping for all that well.

Apart from birthdays and weddings, I don’t experience the stress of deliberating on what to give who. And I usually ask what people want for presents anyway. Unless I see something that I’m sure he or she would like to have, although I think I’ve had misses as well as hits using that strategy.

More surprisingly, though, we’re also bad at buying for the people we’re closest to. A recent study by the marketing professors Davy Lerouge and Luk Warlop finds that familiarity can actually lead us astray.

Some people I think just have the knack at getting others stuff. I’ve been surprised a number of times this year with thoughtful, apt and very me things by my favourite people. And sometimes there is no need for an occasion, I was told, for gift giving. Impulse buying is not exactly my thing but I guess I can understand the sentiment. Even sending a photo of something is much appreciated actually. Because you thought of me when you saw it.


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