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Give Gifts That Really Matter This Holiday Season
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How to give presents that truly deepen relationships and bring happiness

Source: MarketWatch

Here's our quick take:

With a little bit of thought and creativity, it is possible to give gifts that are not only useful and/or fun, but that can help us build better relationships. There are even gifts that can go beyond the "wow factor" and result in getting a return on our most valuable asset — time. This article from Marketwatch has some interesting ideas as well as some additional links and resources that might just add a little extra inspiration into your gift-giving this year.

About the Article

This article isn’t about the latest tech gadgets, travel destinations, or the latest “must-have” item for the holidays. The article focuses on prioritizing things that are truly priceless, like the gift of time. Time can mean both the time spent together or even taking the time to think more deeply about the sentiment behind the gift.

The cliché “it’s not the gift, but the thought that counts”, but how much time do we really spend putting thought into gifts that go beyond just a “wow” experience?  The article covers some of the economic numbers behind typical gift-giving, such as the number of returns and wasted dollars that are spent from giving the “wrong” gifts.

The article also talks about some of the concerns when giving sentimental gifts that often lead consumers to “take the safe route” and stick with superficial gifts. There isn’t a whole lot in the article to provide direct strategies for sentimental giving, but just enough to start a new thought process when considering gift ideas for friends, family and business associates this year.

The important thing is to think about how a gift might be used to enhance the recipient’s life, perhaps deepening the relationship they have with their spouse, with yourself, or with others in general.  There are countless task providers in the gig-economy that can be hired to make their lives easier or to make your own life easier so you can commit to spending more time with those you love. 

Another interesting idea from the article is that people tend to believe that “things” last longer than experiences. However, one of the quoted studies shows that experiences can cause feelings of happiness that outlast the happiness we feel from material things.

Depending on the person, it a big “wow” experience, like jetting off on a luxury vacation may not be the most meaningful. Sometimes just good quality down-time having lunch or coffee with a close friend may be more impactful.  With social media, we are often able to connect with old friends that we may not often see in person. A trip to just catch-up face to face might be a great gift to give to the friend, or for a spouse to travel and spend time with their friend.

What’s on your gift-giving list this year? We’d love to hear what you come up with, or hear stories about the gifts you have received in the past that are the most meaningful to you.

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