Give someone a well thought-out gift, because you know the person will enjoy it. It shows how much you care to have gone that extra step. A gift can be as simple as a handwritten note or letter, sent by regular mail. Gifts need not be elaborate or costly, just something from the heart.
From a psychological viewpoint, the act of giving gifts is part of our human interaction with others. It defines and strengthens our relationships with family, friends and business associates. Psychologists have discovered that often the giver derives even more pleasure than the receiver.
Have you ever wondered how the practice of gift giving began? It has been practiced for thousands of years. One of the earliest known forms of gift-giving, stems back to a practice known as the “potlatch.”
According to Wikipedia, “The potlatch is a festival or ceremony practiced among indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast [of the United States]. At these gatherings a family or hereditary leader hosts a feast for guests in their family's house. The main purpose of the potlatch is the re-distribution and reciprocity of wealth. The status of any given family is raised not by who has the most resources, but by who distributes the most resources.”
Receiving a gift creates a sense of excitement and a glow of appreciation. Just thinking about the times I’ve received gifts brings a smile and warm feeling in me. Think about it yourself and I’m sure a similar smile and glow will arrive. But the biggest kick I get is when someone tells me my gift is appreciated. It reinforces my feelings for the person, makes me feel happy, and rejuvenates my friendship and relationship with that person.
For past newsletters on gift giving, see:
A Holiday Activity
Throughout December, be in touch with people you care about. Take these three simple steps:
- Make a list of eight (a good luck number for Chinese) people whom you would like to contact before year’s end. Include someone you’ve not been in contact with much all year, or someone living far
- Bring to work some nice stationery and take one lunch period---instead of simply doing nothing---to handwrite these notes and letters to the people you’ve identified.
- Address an envelope; affix the correct postage stamps, and mail it.
I promise if you do this, it will not only light yourself, it will surely light up the person who receives your note or letter, to know you cared enough to take the time to write.
Here’s wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday season. I am grateful and thankful for your continued support and interest in being on our mailing list. I look forward to bringing you new information and services in 2010!
P.S. Don’t forget: “Etiquette In Minutes: 201 practical tips on business and social behavior from an international etiquette expert” makes a great holiday gift and stocking stuffer. When submitted by Friday, 18 December we promise to make every effort to ship the order to you in time for Christmas. Be sure to use the special “insider” link to obtain copies for only $10 each… including tax, regular shipping and handling. www.EtiquetteInMinutes.com/insider.
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