WITH CHRISTMAS ONLY A MATTER of days away, it's got us thinking about the importance of gifting and what it all really means.
Christmas, Birthdays, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Valentine's Day - you name it, we celebrate it. We recently came across an article in The New York Times - one that was published several years ago, but continues to resound an interesting message.
What is it about us humans that gets us so enthusiastic about gift giving? What motivates our gift giving? Are we simply pre-programmed consumers or is there a deeper psychology at play here? More so, why does it make us feel so damn good when we see a loved ones face light up as they open that beautiful photography book you purchased for them?
The New York Times article explains that giving gifts is "a surprisingly complex and important part of human interaction, helping to define relationships and strengthen bonds with family and friends". We couldn't agree more - how often do you mull over a gift for a loved one and wonder to yourself - 'Does this reflect what they like? Who they are? Does it support a hobby or interest of theirs?'.
As humans, we thrive on the feeling of giving back to people we love - the opportunity to consider what they may like and find a gift that represents how we see them. So what do you say when someone in the family says "no gifts this year".
Harvard psychology professor, Helen J. Langer, explores in the article that putting a ban to gift-giving during poignant and celebratory times in the year can in fact stilt human connection - "If I don't let you give me a gift, then I'm not encouraging you to think about me and think about things I like. I am preventing you from experiencing the joy of engaging in all those activities. You do people a disservice by not giving them the gift of giving".
While culturally, the concept of gift giving varies from country to country, at the very core, the ceremony and ritual behind this is much the same. While in the Western World, retailers are surely revelling at the gift of giving, we want to know your thoughts? Is gifting a way that you express your feelings and thoughts about someone? Is it a special part of how you celebrate the holiday season?