Thought does count, say gift researchers

23 December 2017 - 00:00 By CLAIRE KEETON

Sentimental Christmas gifts are more likely to delight your loved ones than superficial choices, researchers have found.
People are scared of making the wrong choices, so they stick to safer, more predictable presents, even though being bold could win hearts. This is according to a research project's lead author, Julian Givi.
He said a safe gift was like hitting a sure single in baseball. "A sentimental gift could be a home run [think a six in cricket] but the giver could strike out.
"Rather than risk a strikeout, the giver goes for the sure thing when what the recipient truly desires are sentimentally valuable gifts," he said.
Givi told the Sunday Times this week: "People spend millions on gifts every year and we wanted to help people make better decisions and make recipients happier."The demand for personal gifts, such as photographs, surges in the festive season. Fujifilm photobook assistant Ann Groenewald said: "People put a lot of effort and imagination into composing them."
But superficial spending is also taking off, if popular purchases from online store Takealot are a reflection. "The hottest items are gaming products [Fifa 18 and Call of Duty: World War 2], music like Taylor Swift's Reputation and DVDs," said spokeswoman Leigh Newlands.
The Deloitte 2017 Holiday Survey in the US reveals that clothing consumes a quarter of the expected average gift spending, taking joint first place with gift cards. Toys and hobbies (18%) and electronics (16%) are next.
Givi and his team at Carnegie Mellon University in the US, through two experiments, exposed the mismatch between the gifts people give and those they hope to receive...

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