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Gifts Are About Feelings, Not Dollars

Posted By Jim On 12/24/2007 @ 7:50 am In Personal Finance | 3 Comments

How many jewelry commercials have you seen on television in the last week? If you’ve watched any TV at all, the answer is probably at least four or five dozen. Turn on the radio and you can hear the marketing machine going full blast with spots for jewelry and electronics places. Why? Well, because both classes of products are expensive and top on the list of anyone you can think of. However, before you go the easy route and buy something expensive, think about the point of gift giving… not the actual gift itself.

“It’s the thought that counts.” That’s a line that’s thrown around a lot but it really does ring true. Gifts should be about feelings, about putting thought into the act, and by putting forth effort and not just dollars. Ultimately, it’s about making someone happy and not about getting a particular thing or tickets to a particular event.

Why is jewelry? I don’t know if this is sexist or what but these are my opinions, so you can tell me if I’m totally off base here. The allure of jewelry isn’t because women absolutely love having more sparkly things or expensive things or envious things. Jewelry, like makeup and perfume, empower its wearer (male or female!) to feel more beautiful or attractive. When someone feels more beautiful or attractive, it boosts their confidence and their overall demeanor. This isn’t true for everyone, so getting diamond stud earrings for someone who hates jewelry, despite it’s widespread appeal, would be a terrible idea.

So, why are fancy electronics popular? Here’s a bone to throw to primarily (but not entirely) guys and our love of fancy electronics. Guys like fancy electronics because it’s in part a way to show off (that’s also a reason why guys get their girls fancy jewelry, it’s a way to show off), it’s a way to show that they’ve made it so they can spend their discretionary income on something like a TV. While someone may not want to admit it, that’s in some small way a reason for getting that stuff and there’s nothing wrong with that. Another reason is because you want to be able to host your friends at your place and ensure that everyone has a good time. A part of a good time is being able to watch the game or watch the movie and hear the sounds of either, people like to have a good time and people like to be able to provide that.

So, this holiday season, while we’re coming down to the home stretch (it is Christmas Eve after all!), think about the “why” of your gift instead of the “how much” of the gift. There are plenty of frugal ideas that will yield much more in brownie points than another high priced item.

(or this post comes a week too late… oh well, Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!)


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