couple with present in the park

How often do you surprise a loved one with gifts?

September 23, 2017
  • Mostly on holidays and anniversaries
  • All the time
  • Every other month or so
  • Rarely
  • Never
happy young lady and gifts

Ah, the age-old art of gift-giving. As they say, “It is better to give than to receive.” But how often do you find yourself sneaking a surprise present into your partner’s office or sending that random bouquet to your mom “just because”? The frequency of your spontaneous gift-giving might just say a lot about you.

1. All the time

surprised happy man holding a present

For some, gifting is practically a second language. The “all the time” crowd are the maestros of meaningful tokens, the virtuosos of Valentine’s Day, and the champions of Christmas. A study once found that a segment of the population feels love most strongly through “gifts” — it’s literally how they express and receive affection. If this sounds like you, you might be the type to have a stash of “just because” gifts in your closet.

But why do people give so often? For one, gifting can trigger a rush of endorphins (those delightful chemicals in your brain). Remember that scene in “Love Actually” when Alan Rickman‘s character buys a necklace for his secretary? Regardless of the questionable motive, the thrill of surprising someone is undeniably enticing.

2. Every other month or so

These folks have mastered the balance. While they might not jump at every “two for one” sale at the candy store, they still understand the value of a well-timed present. A survey showed that a majority of Americans buy gifts for their loved ones a few times a year, making this the goldilocks zone of gifting.

These gifts might align with special events, like birthdays or anniversaries, or they might just be for those moments when the mood strikes. As Jane Austen wrote in “Emma”, “One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other.” For this group, the pleasure comes from the periodic and thoughtful act of giving.

3. Rarely

The “rarely” group might be onto something. While they might not be frequently found in gift shops, when they do give, it’s often deeply impactful. In the modern era, inundated by consumerism and the next best thing, there’s something profound about waiting for the perfect moment.

Just think about “The Gift of the Magi” by O. Henry. Both characters in the story sell their most prized possessions to buy gifts for one another. The beauty isn’t in the frequency, but in the depth and sacrifice of their love. Plus, let’s face it, there’s an undeniable charm in unpredictability. As with a rare comet sighting or that one line in the Beatles’ song “Blackbird” — “You were only waiting for this moment to arise.”

4. Never

Two individuals engrossed in a deep conversation on a comfy couch

Now, for our “never” folks, gifting might not be their thing, and that’s okay! For some, their presence is the present. Philosophically speaking, existentialists might argue that the essence of being is more about action and existence than material items. After all, Sartre didn’t say, “To be is to buy,” now did he?

And there’s something to be said about other forms of affection. A survey showed that many people in the U.S. value quality time over material gifts. Whether it’s a long walk on the beach or a Netflix binge session, spending time can often feel more intimate and genuine than any wrapped box.

In Conclusion

In the grand tapestry of love, gifts are but one thread. Whether you’re the type to shower your loved ones with daily trinkets or you save those moments for something truly special, it all comes down to the heart behind the gesture. So, whether it’s every day, every other month, rarely, or never, your unique gifting frequency tells a story. And in the immortal words of Dr. Seuss, “To the world, you may be one person, but to one person, you may be the world.” So, how often do you surprise your loved ones with gifts? The ball’s in your court!

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