Gift Giving: Differing Reasons and Expectations

 In Money Habits & Attitudes Blog

The holiday shopping season recently past, this article in the Vancouver Sun offers some insight into the beast that is gift giving. We all have different philosophies on giving gifts. Some may not give at all. Some may give lavishly. Some may give to gain influence or so they will be accepted by others (what to give the in-laws?) Citing research from Christian Smith (a Notre Dame University professor who received a $5-million grant from the Templeton Foundation), the article notes that people do indeed give for many different reasons: strategic, impulsive, sentimental, habitual and ideological reasons, as well as out of guilt. Not to forget altruism.

This aligns with what we see when people discover their money personality by doing Money Habitudes. Indeed, gift giving is not the same for everyone and many people don’t understand why they give the way they do until they do the quick card-sorting Money Habitudes activity. Of course, it’s also a good conversation starter between couples and families who give differently or don’t understand why a spouse or partner gives the way he or she does. As with any spending issue, differing expectations or a lack of communication about gift giving can cause discontent and mistrust in relationships.

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