Don’t know what to wrap up under the tree this year? Here’s an idea: try “nothing” and give an experience instead! There’s a science to everything-- including gift giving. If your goal is to strengthen your relationship with the giftee, new research suggests that “experiential gifts” are the way to go.
A study from the University of Toronto and the UCLA focused on how effective gifts are in building relationships. Co-author Cindy Chan explained, “the reason experiential gifts are more socially connecting is that they tend to be more emotionally evocative. An experiential gift elicits a strong emotional response when a recipient consumes it — like the fear and awe of a safari adventure, the excitement of a rock concert or the calmness of a spa — and is more intensely emotional than a material possession.”
If you don’t feel like a small envelope with concert tickets or amusement park passes is enough, include a playlist or a joke of the day calendar. They also suggest a framed photo or engraved jewelry as gifts the resonate emotionally.
If you’re still feeling the pressure of picking the perfect present, watch the video above for more tips!