It’s the thought that counts? No way! Gifts speak volumes and it’s actually the thoughtlessness of bad gift choices that really matters.
What’s inside that pretty wrapping symbolizes what’s inside someone’s head and heart, especially in new relationships.
According to relationship expert, Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil, the wrong gift can ruin a relationship. Make sure it’s something they like and want.
A gift card, wrong-sized clothing, a blender, a gym membership and diet books are no-nos – these gifts have the potential to obliterate any ho-ho-ho on Christmas morning.
And cash is a big offender – unless specifically requested.
Gift giving can actually be a hostile act, says Eaker Weil – “if you’re partner is angry at you, he may get you a gift you hate and totally ignored what you really wanted…”
Think romantic and intimate – jewelry is always a safe bet, says Eaker Weil, and so is perfume, if they wear it. When splurging for a day at the spa, be sure to make it for two and join her.
For him, generally technology, gadgets or sporting tickets are a good way to go, she adds.
It doesn’t have to be expensive, just put some thought into it, chorus the experts. Generally don’t get him ties or any tools or machinery like a lawn mower, which generally indicates you want him to do that chore.
Gift gaffes abound - blame it on stress, panic, bad taste, momentary insanity or simply a complete lapse in judgment. Add to that hostility.
“Poor gift choices make people feel devalued – it shows their partner is not paying attention,” adds Eaker Weil, author of Makeup, Don’t Break Up.
The biggest mistake, according to Eaker Weil, is totally ignoring what the recipient hinted at or requested and getting something the recipient doesn’t want.
Shallow or not, the dollar value of a gift definitely plays into the equation during the attachment stage of a relationship. “People are evaluated by what they’re giving – but it really is about the thought put into it,” says Eaker Weil, adding it doesn’t take a lot of money to show you care.
Cooking a romantic dinner at home or planning a picnic or writing poetry or making a book all take time and effort, which indicate caring and attention. “It makes people feel loved, cared about and special,” she says.
“Money is tight so we need to get back to basics,” says Eaker Weil, and putting thought into it is key to keeping costs down.
You can’t afford to make mistakes so Eaker Weil suggests pre-shopping together in order to pick out a few ideal gifts and then surprising your partner with one of them.
According to gift guru Jodi Newbern, the dollar value doesn’t determine the true value of a gift. “Sometimes, a personalized note, story or poem accompanying a gift makes even an inexpensive token seem like a true gift.”
Almost anything that has some special meaning or significance, even if it’s silly, is a good choice as long as it shows you actually put thought into it. “The less practical and functional the better, unless it’s something she wanted - from you!” adds Newbern, of Regiftingrevival.com.
Generally, when buying for your guy, “the more practical and functional the better and especially if it’s something that he has literally asked for. If they tell you they want it, and you are able to give it to them, do it,” Newbern says.
Gift facts and stats:
• More than half of Canadians can expect to receive at least one dud gift this holiday season.
• More than half of Canadians have received a bad holiday gift.
• 30% lied and said they liked it.
• 70% have discussed bad holiday gifts with others.
• Re-gifting is fine with 60%, as long as the gift matches the recipient’s personality and/or lifestyle.
• 78% believe getting someone else to do your shopping is thoughtless.
• 10% pretend to like a bad gift by putting it on display or wearing it when the gift giver is present.
- Survey by Kijiji.ca
Avoid the pitfalls of general gift giving with tips from Jodi Newbern:
• Match the gift with the occasion; be mindful of the reason for the gift.
• Match the value of the gift to the occasion, the reason and the person. A too extravagant gift is just as tacky as a too chintzy one.
• Decide ahead of time who/what/why and how much you’ll be spending on gifts.
• “Group up” for gifts whenever possible and appropriate, such as for office gifts, shower and wedding gifts.
- courtesy of Regiftingrevival.com