Christmas is a time of giving and receiving. Many people find both activities difficult, not least because presents are imbued with meaning. It is not only a problem of to whom one gives presents or not, and/or how much/little to spend, but more importantly what sort of item to purchase. You also don’t want to offend who you are giving the gift to, whether it’s symbolic or a joke. The basic trouble is that gift-giving is “showing” rather than “telling” what you think about others. Gifts are one of the ways in which the pictures that other have of us, in their minds, are transmitted materialistically. As a gift-giver, one needs to be sufficiently socially aware to know what to give to whom and when, to have confidence in one’s tastes. Overall, the recipient’s gift is going to reflect how the gift giver sees them.

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CC BY-SA 4.0 Psychology of Christmas Gift Giving by Emma is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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