know the art of gift giving
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Last Updated : GMT 05:17:37
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Know the art of gift giving

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Gift giving
Muscat - Arab Today

Kevin’s 16th birthday fell on a bright winter morning many years ago. That day he found no wrapped gift waiting for him on the kitchen table, instead he found an envelope.

His mother had enclosed a note that read: It’s a gift that will last for life in your memories. Tucked behind her letter were travel documents for an adventure trip exclusively arranged for teenagers his age. 

Kevin, who is now in his 30s calls it “the best gift ever” not just because his experience was so fantastic, but because it opened up a new world for him. That particular gift changed his life, introducing him to the world of travel, which eventually became both his passion and career.

A gift needn’t be a trip-of-a-lifetime to be meaningful. Though it can be the simplest thing on the earth, a thoughtful present can make us feel very special. Whether to commemorate the season’s festivities or celebrate a birthday, anniversary, promotions, or other milestone, at their core, gifts are tokens of affection.

Finding the perfect gift? That is a challenge for most of us. While most people go with safer bets like show pieces, picture frames, books, and perfumes, or the all-occasion option of flowers, spending a little extra time to find something unique, personal, and thoughtful can make the gesture far more meaningful and memorable.

So if you are caught in the same dilemma when it is time to give a gift, before heading to the shops take a few minutes to think about the needs and desires of your loved one. Think back to a memorable experience you had together, and perhaps find a gift that relates to that. Think about hints he or she might have dropped about items they fancied. One decisive factor is the type of relationship the giver has with the recipient and how well the giver knows the recipient, which will usually be reflected in the gift. Planning ahead can help avoid inpersonal, emergency purchases. 

Start early, observe their behaviour and consider their situation. Do they need cheering up with a silly gift or is there something more utilitarian they desperately need?

When it comes to presentation, no matter how thoughtful a gift is, if it isn’t wrapped neatly it fails to impress. The way of presenting the gift is often as important as the gift itself. So whatever you choose to give, make sure that it is neatly wrapped with a personal note attached to let the receiver feel that the gift was straight from the heart.

Researchers have found that giving gifts is a surprisingly complex and important part of human interaction as it helps to define relationships and strengthen bonds with family and friends.

Psychologists say it is often the giver rather than the recipient who reaps the biggest psychological gains from a gift. Researchers further add that those who refrain from exchanging gifts miss an important connection with family and friends.

Ellen J. Langer, a Havard professor of psychology said in an article published in The New York Times: “Not exchanging gifts in like preventing oneself from experiencing the joy of giving and receiving and lose out on important social cues.” 

The culture of giving gifts varies from country to country. What is graciously welcomed in some countries might not be liked in other places. There is a high possibility of making a cultural faux pas if one is not aware of the gift giving culture of the concerned nation. Especially when it comes to business relationships.

In some countries giving a hospitality gift is considered as a bribe and is a highly offensive gesture. Like in Singapore, where government employees are not allowed to accept gifts. There, if you receive a gift, object, or money while representing the government of Singapore, you are required by law to declare everything you receive to your superiors.

But things are just the opposite in places like Japan and most Middle East countries where exchanging gifts, especially when visiting from abroad, is a part of the culture.

There are other cultural considerations when giving personal gifts. If you are sending a card in Japan, never write on it with red or black. If you are in China then remember not to give clocks, pears, umbrellas, or green hats as gifts as they signify something omnious. In some countries in Europe, people still follow the old tradition of giving an odd number of flowers, except the number 13. In many countries sharp and pointed objects are not exchanged as gifts as it is considered to be a symbol of severing ties. So items like pair of scissors and knife are never given.

No matter where you go in the world, chocolates are the most popular of casual gifts, as they are universally appreciated, and appropriate for nearly all occasions and ages.—

Source :Times Of Oman

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