We are almost there….Christmas!!! Soon I will be heading back home for the holiday but before that there will be the annual gift buying ritual.
I love gifts, especially when they are for me! Although I do not usually like surprises (do not try to organize a surprise birthday party for example!!). I love to receive gifts but I have the feeling that I owe something to the person who gave me it to me, on the other hand when I give something to someone, it just make me feel good. If I can see a smile or some kind of satisfaction I feel rewarded!
All gifts are not created equally…meaning they are not purchased in the same way.
There are the ones you offer spontaneously, the ones that you have to offer, and the ones that are motivated (I am not the only one who had to do the last one I think). It is certain that depending on the conditions and assuming that the receiver do not know what intention underline the act of gift giving, I do not feel the same, starting from happiness and ending up with culpability, I will try to explain it.
In the analysis of gift giving act, by Sherry (1983) it is suggested that it has a social, economic, and personal aspects and develop a typology employing the nature of the gift, the relationship between the person who give and the person who receive, and situational conditions, like holidays. These are many variables but I am sure there is much more to take into consideration.
It seems that the gift search process has an importance as well according to Banks (1979), I am sure you can imagine searching a gift for hours, days, walking from one shop from another, how much value you will add to the wonderful Eiffel tower key chain and how the deception would be if the recipient do not even show half a smile…
When the time comes to make a gift to a certain person because you have to, the pleasure stop and the chore begins, it is even worse when it is an order. “They should have ask Amazon!”. Clee and Wicklund (1980) argue that the obligation to buy a present, (under certain conditions) could be perceived as a threat to freedom, eliciting psychological reactance leading to a rather a negative than positive experience.
While Belk (1979) observed that almost all gift item carry a symbolic meaning; thus the choice of present may be affected by the price that would be paid and the effort invested in the gift selection. The results of the process possibly carrying in function of whether the donor perceives the event as mandatory or voluntary. This tend to go in the same direction as Sherry’s (1983) study.
According to Schwartz (1967) “Gifts are one of the ways in which the pictures that others share of us in their minds are transmitted,” If I gift you with a beautifully designed bin bag, do not ask me any questions please.
Merry Christmas Everyone !!!!!