Hugh Upsher on the gifting tendencies you should avoid this festive season
“Gift to others the way you wish to be gifted” as the saying goes. There are a hundred ways to show someone how special they are to you, and a hundred thousand ways to get it completely wrong. It’s rarely about the monetary value but rather the thought that went into it that matters. With that notion in mind, try your best not to be any of these people.
If you haven’t sorted out all your gifts by this point you’re almost definitely a last-minute Lance. It’s not that this person hasn’t been thinking about it, it’s just that they haven’t been thinking about it very hard. In theory, they would have been finished by now, but certain future gift recipients have the audacity not to implicitly explain exactly what they expect to receive. This results in limited options, panic and inevitable poor choices.
This person knows that gifting is an important part of the festive season but doesn’t fully grasp why. They know they need to give away something but are not willing to take the thinking much further. This lack of processing power results in gifts in the form of hard cash, or on a good year, a generic gift card for Woolies or Exclusive Books. It’s a safe strategy that meets the required amount of value necessary for appeasement.
Have you ever received a gift that you had no clue as what to do with it, so it sat in your cupboard for a year untouched? This is a great chance to pass the burden onto someone else to take up space in their cupboard indefinitely. The pro re-gifters will go as far as to use gift cards they received the previous year to buy presents for the current year.
This person doesn’t see the difference between buying a thoughtful gift and fobbing off their own product. Whether it’s clothing, jewelry, music or a range of vegetarian meatballs, they don’t want to miss a chance to push their own brand. This is not so much gifting as it is small-scale guerilla marketing.
People in this category are generally small children or super broke people in the creative industry. The person receiving the gift is lucky enough to get something really high in sentimental value, but really low resale value. The strategy of making something instead of buying something is a bold move that tends to have polarising results. It’ll either get hung in a prominent spot in that person’s lounge or quietly tucked away to the back of the shoe closet.
I know I have been all of these people at some point, but acknowledging my past discretions will hopefully act as a decent guide for avoiding any disappointment going into the holiday season. Remember to practice your expression of fake delight for that moment when you realize you’re the victim of one of the above practices.