When we give gifts, we express our gratitude toward the people we love. Maybe the gift is a thank you, or we want to show how important they are to us. Aside from the material aspect, gift giving is a mutual exchange of emotions with gratitude on one side and appreciation on the other. However, often the gift represents what the giver thinks will be appreciated by the recipient, not what the recipient will appreciate.
If gratitude and appreciation are two sides of the same coin, how do we get our loved ones, those we are most grateful to, to express what they want so that our gratitude matches their appreciation?
Mother’s Day is fast approaching, so now is a good time to talk about gifts for those who mean the most to many people, our Moms. But we all know Moms can be notoriously difficult to shop for. And that can make it difficult for us to show our gratitude, respect, and love for their role in our lives. For our part, when we express our gratitude, however we express it, we want to feel appreciated. This is the dynamic described above. Instead of guessing what your mom will appreciate this year, why not ask her to create an always-on Gift List?
This concept may feed into the fear of over-commercializing holidays, but a Gift List is about something other than one specific holiday. An always-on Gift List is a year-round, curated collection of all sorts of things the creator may want for any event — their birthday, anniversary, housewarming, holiday, or other gifting occasions. It contains items that ultimately represent gifts that they will appreciate. Why would someone appreciate you purchasing a gift chosen from their Gift List?
- One, it shows that you, as the gift giver, want the gift to have a meaningful impact and you care about their interests and desires that need support from their friends and family. It shows that you are paying attention to them.
- Two, getting a gift they want spares them the hassle of hiding it, returning it, or (god-forbid) pretending to like it. It is a gift your loved one will use, display, or share.
- Three, it gives the receiver the permission to ask for what they want not just on one occasion, but for any gifting moment. A Gift List establishes a pattern of gifting where every gift given can be accepted with appreciation because the giver acknowledges your wants and respects the decision to ask for them.
So, this Mother’s Day, as you look to find the perfect way to celebrate your mother and express the gratitude you have for her, consider suggesting she creates her very own personal, always-on Gift List. Instead of taking the anonymous advice from one of the millions of “101 Gifts your Mom Actually Wants” articles, why not let Mom give you a gift guide made expressly for her by her.