Unwrapping YourStory’s ultimate holiday gift guide
It’s a research-based fact that the joy of giving lasts longer than the joy of receiving. A phenomenon known as hedonic adaptation means that the happiness we feel after an event or activity diminishes each time we experience it. The one exception to this rule, however, is giving to others, according to research in Psychological Science.
The happiness generated by giving helps reinforce our sense of social connection and belonging. The act of giving, the study found, continued to feel relatively fresh and relatively pleasurable the more we do it.
That said, gift giving is a tricky business, and the holiday season can evoke anything from a mild sense of panic to anxiety for many gift givers who struggle with what to buy.
While picking out a gift, givers tend to focus on the perceived desirability of their gift with the view that it will make the recipient more appreciative of them. However, research shows what receivers really value - convenience, feasibility, and ease of use in a gift. This crucial difference in givers' and receivers’ mindsets can lead to disappointment, according to a recent study by the Journal of Consumer Research.
All said, gift-giving is clearly here to stay. India's gifting market is projected to grow to $ 159 million by 2025, according to a report by ReportLinker on the India gifting market.
At YourStory, to help our readers with their gifting dilemmas, I’ve harassed some of my colleagues to help me put together the most useful, beautiful, and unexpected gifts for everyone—from the couch potato, fitness fanatic or foodie friend to the fussy father-in-law, and everyone in between. Here’s a selection of our favorite suggestions that’s not your average glasses and toaster gifts. Happy shopping!
Floor them with flora
Diya Koshy-George, our Consulting Editor at Social Story, likes to kick it old school with a flower bouquet or a flower bouquet subscription service, for which she recommends shadesofspring.in. “It's not a one-time thing...it makes a person feel special through the year and after the 2020 we have had, everyone needs a reason to smile in 2021, and flowers will do that...unless you have a pollen allergy,” she says.
Source: Shades of Spring
Pedal to the metal
Anju Narayanan, our Desk Editor, suggests miniature brass toys called Bhatukli from Coppre, a brand that works with the metal artisans of the Western state of Maharashtra and reinvents traditional forms and contours to suit contemporary homes and living. Anju vouches for them because, “They are sustainable, help revive our heritage, will last several generations and most importantly - they are just too beautiful.”
A gifting idea that’s sure to grow on you
Having plants around also makes people happy (according to science). It’s safe to say, therefore, that giving someone a plant could lead to perfect happiness. "Plants are quite the trend right now but they’re timelessly beneficial and won’t ever go out of style,” says Aparajita Saxena, Senior Associate Editor at YourStory.
“Tending to and watering my plants help me centre myself. Watching new leaves grow and change colours is very meditative too and it really helps to bring a little bit of the outside, in, especially with all these Covid restrictions,” she adds.
Small can make a big impression
Aditya Ranade, who heads Design and Video at YourStory, recommends going minimal with the compact utility wonder of Victorinox Card Swiss Army Knife, the visiting card-sized multi-utility tool that conveniently fits into your pocket or wallet – or even a Swiss Army Knife for that matter. “How many times have you hunted for a corkscrew, a bottle opener, a pair of scissors, a screwdriver or a pen, only to never find one when you need it,” he says.
Go big or go home
Contrastingly, Anju Ann Mathew, a Correspondent with YourStory, likes to take the maximalist approach with a gift hamper. “I am a huge fan of Christmas hampers - so I fill up a basket with a whole assortment of goodies from tiny pieces of candy, to one gift that represents the season – like an ornament or a diya, a bar of chocolate, a book (mostly a classic), and possibly a few homemade goodies like brownies,” she says.
Bitcoin is the new gold
Rishabh Mansur, our Special Correspondent, has an unusual approach to gifting. “I've been following the crypto market and there's a lot of conversations happening now. With the Supreme Court overturning RBI's crypto ban in March, Bitcoin is essentially becoming a store of value. With gold prices dropping, people are buying Bitcoin as a store of value. Bitcoin supply is limited to 21 million coins in total. So it is a rare digital asset that is fast becoming an alternative to gold,” he says, adding that there are quite a few options like paper wallets and gift cards available online to those wanting to gift Bitcoin.
Gift stories, not stuff
Books happen to be popular go-tos for Dipti Nair, our Editor at Large, as well as Jerlin Justus James, a writer with our Brand Solutions team. Jerlin suggests book gift boxes, “for all the book lovers out there, like me, who like to snuggle into a corner with a good book and some chocolate for the soul.” She recommends champaca.in for this.
Give them their fill of thrill
Know someone that likes to live on the edge and walk on the wild side once in a while? “A memorable experience indulging in their passions will be an ideal gift for them,” says Tenzin Pema, our Editor and Writer, who has often been spotted zipping away from Bangalore on an Enfield Bullet on short excursions from the city.
Studies from the University of Toronto Scarborough reveal that gifting an experience can result in a more positive experience for the recipient as it can foster stronger relationships than material items. Research also shows that experiential gifts can bring you and the recipient closer, even if you don’t experience the gift with your recipient.
For this, she recommends Thrillophilia, a startup launched by a young Bangalore-based couple who decided to turn their favourite hobby into a business idea.
Finally, does splurging show how much you care?
Not quite. Studies have shown that splurging on a gift does not always guarantee that it’s well-received. While givers think spending more conveys more thoughtfulness, receivers often don’t associate the price with their level of appreciation. Putting more thought into the gift, and not money, always helps.