Gift-giving has long been a favourite subject for studies on human behaviour.

 

Gift giving

 

Psychologists, anthropologists, economists and marketers have all found that giving gifts is a surprisingly complex and important part of human interaction, helping to define relationships and strengthen bonds with family and friends.

So while it’s reasonable to cut back on spending during the holidays, banning the gift exchange with loved ones may not be the best solution. In fact, some experts say that people who refuse to accept or exchange gifts during the holidays may be missing out on an important connection with family and friends.

In other words, who is on your gift list is telling of who is important in your life; even more, it says who is more important and who is less important. And psychologists say it is often the giver, rather than the recipient, who reaps the biggest psychological gains from a gift.

Giving to others reinforces our feelings for them and makes us feel effective and caring - so if you want to say thanks to a family member or friend or reciprocate a favour, a thank-you gift hamper might just be the way to go.