We all love gifts and surprises. Gifting clocks, flower vases or artifacts were statutory gifts for marriages, coffee mugs or photo frames were statutory for friend’s birthday or gifting heart-shaped objects or roses went synonymous with wedding or valentine’s days. But now, the trend of personalized gifts, experiential gifts and gift cards have led the world by storm with their unique gifting ideas.
Last decade has witnessed a growing number of ‘gift card’ gifts as people feel impersonal gifting cash but at the same time wish for the receiver to use the gift. Research shows that most people use gift cards to buy things that they would not normally buy, mostly luxury goods. That’s because individuals feel less guilty paying with a gift card instead of cash. Gift cards are still preferred by many due to its flexibility of cash and as it does impart the feeling of a gift too!
Gift givers feel great about giving personalized gifts, but this is not often what the receiver wishes. Givers mostly focus on who the recipient is instead of focusing on what the recipient likes. When a gift card for a specific product is given, recipient takes longer time to use it and the giver fails to notice this. It is better to give a gift that the receiver likes instead of focusing on the receiver’s unique traits.
Nowadays people don’t spend time or thoughts for most things and google to get their answers. Even for gifting ideas we normally type ‘top 10 gifts for so and so occasion’ and follow what is given there. If you want to become closer with your spouse, friend or family the best gifts are experiences.
Experiential gifts strengthen the relationship between the giver and receiver over material gifts, immaterial of whether the gift was utilized by both parties together. The emotions are felt by the receiver when he/she consumes the gift, not when receiving it. For example, a CD of your friend’s favourite music concert evokes pleasure and the emotional connection stays lifelong whenever he/she listens to the CD. If your spouse likes to eat French cuisine, gifting a French-style dinner experience is sure to make your spouse go head over heels in love with you rather than a dress or an expensive watch.
Even research proves the fact that experiential gifts are better and preferred over material gifts for improving relationships from the recipient’s perspective.
The prime reason behind this statement is that experiential gifts evoke a stronger emotional bond and response when the recipient uses it. For instance, the soothing body spa, the excitement during a safari ride or the positive effect of a music concert can never be equalized with an expensive watch or a stunning gown.
Till now, gifts have been focusing on the receiver’s likes and dislikes never bothering about the fundamental objective of gifting-improving the relationship between the buyer and the receiver. In the research too, 78% responded that their latest gifting experience was of a material gift. Gifts that emotionally connect people, like a personalized calendar, a piece of jewelry with a lovely message or a framed photo are excellent gifting options. Experiential gifts always give us the option to return to it in the form of pleasant memories that are shining forever. Material gifts on the other hand fade away with time.
Next time when you look out for gifting options for Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, birthdays, anniversaries or any other occasion, try to give experiential gifts as much as possible to further strengthen the bond with your loved one. This emotional connection can reduce stress and make you feel relaxed. Stress is a major cause for a chain of negative reactions to occur within a person's body that can even lead to depression, anxiety and diseases too. There are many other ways to reduce stress and for a list of those ideas, please visit the website www.firsteatright.com.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.