Let's face it - we all love receiving gifts! There are few things that make us happier than unwrapping a parcel – no matter how enormous or miniature – from a friend, colleague, or significant other. An unopened gift possesses endless possibility and promise – before it's unwrapped, a gift can be anything you imagine: a round-world airline ticket, a piece of designer jewelry, or the latest electronic gadget. The anticipation and speculation as to what might be hiding under the colorful wrapping paper can be just as thrilling as discovering the new item.
A lot of people buy gifts and like to give material goods (like jewelry) that they know the recipient will enjoy and appreciate. Clothing items, sporting goods, electronics, music and books are all popular gifts during Christmastime and at birthdays. Some people like to give gift certificates for services, such as a spa treatment or a golf lesson, which correspond with the receiver's interests. Not everyone can afford to pamper themselves with a massage or a facial and receiving a voucher for such a treatment allows the person a little luxury without having to stress about financing it.
Speaking of finances, purchasing gifts for all of our friends and loved ones for all of the special occasions throughout a year can get pricey. Some people prefer to make their gifts from scratch. A daughter might bake a batch of her mom's favorite white chocolate chip cookies and give them to her on Mother's Day, along with a homemade card. Lots of people like to give picture frames that hold a photo of themselves and the person they're giving to as a token of their friendship and a memento of a fun or significant ski trip or party night. These gifts might not be the most lavish items that someone can give, but because they were made with love, they'll be highly appreciated.
Traditionally, gifts are associated with holidays and special occasions, such as Christmas, graduations, birthdays, and anniversaries. Who doesn't love coming down the stairs on Christmas Day morning to find a mountain of brightly wrapped presents under the tree, or unwrapping a small box on Valentine's Day to find that sparkly diamond necklace you've been eying for months? Receiving thoughtful gifts on these occasions makes the recipient feel special and appreciated.
That being said, though, there's nothing better than sending someone special a gift out of the blue. Coming home to find a dozen fuchsia gerbera daisies on the kitchen table or receiving a pair of tickets to a basketball game just because can make any day special, regardless of whether Hallmark has deemed it as such.
Unexpected gift giving makes everyone feel wonderful – the recipient feels special for the unprompted attention and the giver feels good about making someone feel cherished. There's no need to wait until the next monumental occasion to show someone that you care. In fact, giving surprising someone with a gift on a random Tuesday evening, for example, often has more meaning than a birthday present might because it was exactly that – a surprise.
Whether a gift is presented on a holiday or birthday, or on a day that doesn't have any apparent significance, the receiver will feel special and appreciative of the thought and time that the giver put into choosing a personalized, meaningful gift. No gift is too small, or too big, too modest or generous. Being a good gift-giver means that you pay attention to suggestions or needs that your loved ones have mentioned throughout the year, or else choosing something that they might not have suggested or ever mentioned wanting, but that you know is perfect for him or her. It also means presenting someone with a gift that you know they will cherish without expecting a gift in return. Depending on your relationship with the person, it's likely that the gesture will be reciprocated in the future, but that shouldn't be your motivation for giving in the first place.
It's also important to be a good gift-receiver, by accepting a gift with graciousness and thanking the giver for selecting such a unique, beautiful, or appropriate item and presenting it to you. You'll feel warm and fuzzy after receiving a gift and the receiver will appreciate your thanks and will be glad to see that you like it. See? Gift giving is mutually beneficial for both parties!