Once upon a Christmas, I gave someone close a copy of the LIFE magazine from the day she was born. Mind you, the special day was in 1959. I sent away to an antique publications house in New York two months in advance, and paid $40 for it.
On Christmas Day, she opened the package and… just didn’t get it. She was polite about it but I could just tell, you know?
Well, according to a study in a recent Journal of Experimental Psychology…
The adage “It’s the thought that counts” was largely debunked. Gift givers are better off choosing gifts that receivers actually desire rather than spending a lot of time and energy shopping for what they perceive to be a thoughtful gift. The study found thoughtfulness doesn’t increase a recipient’s appreciation if the gift is a desirable one. In fact, thoughtfulness only seemed to count when a friend gives a gift that is disliked. Wall Street Journal
So, we really only want what we want. They say the only sure way to satisfy someone is to force them to make a list, and then buy something on it. And this is my defense in the previous example. I went the “thoughtful” route because she was TERRIBLE about making a wish list, always has been. After that, I switched to gift cards.
Oh well… if you are thinking that this is just one more sign of what stupid selfish babies we all are, I have to say that I don’t disagree. Read the article, and tell us what you think!
* the “errand” joke isn’t mine. I would credit it if I could remember who said it!