The art of gift giving

A graphic showing the title: The art of gift giving. CREDIT: FSU PUBLICATIONS AND COMMUNICATIONS DEPARTMENT

There’s a certain art that goes into the process of gift giving, one that has to be refined over countless holiday seasons. Is it best to ask the person directly? Or try to guess what they want? How much time is appropriate to spend on wrapping? To narrow this art down, I spoke with my mom, dad and sister to figure out how to navigate the gift giving process.

When it comes to gifts, do you ask the person what they want or do you try to guess?

Mom: I take a look at their varied interests and then go from there and try to find something that’s unique and that they may like. So then it’s a surprise for them.

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Dad: So I like to get a list of what people want. And then I work through the list. I always try to do something off book too. But for the most part, I’m pretty much a list guy. I love links too, cause then I know exactly what to get.

Savannah: I will try and go almost like a theme and I’ll ask them questions to kind of go with that theme. For example, let’s say I wanted to do something like a spa night themed gift. I’d ask what kind of scents they like, what do they do to relax?

What do you prefer when it comes to receiving gifts?

Mom: I think opening presents from someone can have the expectation of knowing you’re getting something that you want but I don’t really expect anything usually. So knowing that the person took the time to go out and put the thought into it, is more of a gift often than the gift itself.

Dad: I like a gift that has some thought behind it. I’m very, very big about making sure my family knows the things that I like. If it’s from a video game or motorcycle stuff or things like that, you can never go wrong.

Savannah: Let’s say for like, bigger ticket items. I’d rather get something I want exactly. But for the clothes and stuff, if you see something that you think I’d like, I’ll take it and probably I’ll love it.

Do you find gift giving stressful?

Mom: Absolutely not. Because if I’m struggling with trying to find someone a gift, then that means I’ve usually put a lot of thought into it, so I’m more excited about their reaction to it.

Dad: No, because I have a list.

Savannah: I find the shopping process can be a little bit stressful, giving gifts is not very stressful in my opinion. It just brings me a lot of joy to give gifts.

How much time on average do you spend wrapping gifts?

Mom: I tend to do presents in one big batch whenever I have the time to. Only exception is with stockings, I do those a little bit at a time so that I can keep track of how equal they are. As far as time goes, I would say, overall, it’s probably anywhere between four and six hours in total.

Dad: I spent a very minimal amount of time wrapping gifts because I get other people to wrap my gifts for me.

Savannah: Probably like two, two and a half hours. Five if I’m wrapping dad and yours.

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?

Mom: It was a gift that I got from my step-father. It was a bamboo box that looked like a small treasure chest and inside of it were four cobalt blue wine glasses. He’d also put a bottle of mezcal that he got in Las Vegas that had the worm in the bottom of it. And the reason why that was my favourite was because all of that was picked out by him, not my mom.

Dad: Going back to when I was a kid, we didn’t have a lot of money. The year I got my first set of road hockey equipment. I was probably 11 or 12. And they got me a full set of goalie pads, chest protector of black trapper and a helmet on and that sport consumed the next 10 years of my life. That was a big spend for my parents and I’m still really grateful.

Savannah: Honestly, the car is probably one of the best gifts that I’ve ever gotten because it is so functional and practical and I use it literally every day. I love my car.

What’s your favourite gift you’ve ever given?

Mom: We’d always struggle a little bit when we were younger with mortgage and car payments and so on. But one Christmas, we just managed to pull it right out of our butts and give both our kids the same gifts, but they each got like a television, a computer and a Wii, when it was really hard to get one.

Dad: We got you guys these giant Lego play castles. We spent all night putting them together and you guys came out of your rooms and you were so excited to see these castles and you spent, you know, days in them. Your sister had a pink princess one and you had a grey knight one and they’re just these big Lego castles and you guys loved it.

Savannah: I think my favourite gift I’ve ever given would be a Joker painting that I did for dad. He loved it and I liked painting it a lot.