A party can look a lot of different ways, but we can probably all agree that a party gathers people together around a particular person, event, or idea – which then determines the party’s main theme. Parties are generally accompanied by lively conversations, good food, plentiful drinks (usually alcohol), music, and other types of entertainment that can add to an informal, friendly atmosphere where everyone feels at home. In fact, one of the main objectives of parties is to include people in a social environment, which in turn eliminates the need to adhere to ‘labels’ or any sense of conformity.
A good party happens when all guests feel relaxed and included. Obviously, this can be easier said than done, so party organizers and hosts need to think very carefully and plan the party well. When everyone is focused on having the best time possible with regard to whatever is being celebrated, that’s when you can say that the party hosts managed to create a scenario for making unforgettable memories.
Let’s not forget, however, that the invited guests are also responsible for the quality of the party. Guests should make the effort to focus on the holiday/occasion theme, and to follow an appropriate dress code, but that’s not all. Surprisingly, the quality of the party also depends on the host or hostess gifts that guests bring, because it shows that you are gracious and have manners. Elizabeth Dunn, a professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia in Canada claims that an inappropriate gift can, in the worst case, ruin your relationship with the host. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid giving a bad gift.
Tips on How to Choose a Gift
1. Don’t Pay Much Attention to Price
Research suggests that a high price is not always the key to successful gift-giving. Recipients don’t necessarily connect the price of the present with the level of recognition by you. Jeff Galak, an associate professor of marketing at the Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business in Pittsburgh, PA says that when determining whether the hostess will like a gift, its price is far from the top ten criteria. However, the author speaks of a certain price starting point for a present that is inherent depending on the recipient’s social circle. It’s important to remember that it’s enough to reach this price threshold and not significantly exceed it, because that extra expense isn’t necessarily expected.
2. Think Long Term
Choose gifts that are going to serve the owner for quite a long, or those that can offer an introduction to a fun hobby or activity. For example, a guest can give the best dry herb vaporizer, which will be a gift for the long term, and one can give a gift certificate to the vape shop, for those interested in taking the first step towards vaping. Another example is to give a case of good wine that will be enough for the owners to use for a long time. You can also gift a bottle of your favorite wine that the owners can taste and, if they enjoy it, they might buy it again. A completely inappropriate gift for this rule would be a gift that is not connected to the host’s lifestyle or perceived interests.
3. A Special Gift Versus The Usual
Often we want to give an outstanding present, something that no one else would think of giving. Accordingly, in order to make such a gift, we focus our attention on the rare features of the person to whom we will give this gift, and thanks to the gift, we try to emphasize these unique features. However, this is the wrong way to go about it. After all, in pursuit of a special, unique gift, we ignore the practical and everyday needs of those who invited us to the party. Let’s return to our example with a dry herb vaporizer to make it clearer. Imagine that we know that our friend uses a high end portable vaporizer but still wants to invest further in this pastime, and accordingly you decide to give an exclusive, limited model of the best herb vaporizer. This sounds like good idea, but maybe the maintenance of this kind of e-cigarette is not something your friend can afford, thus your gift, like a museum exhibit, will never be touched. A good gift according to this rule could be a high-quality charger for their current vape.
4. Consider Your Shared Interests
The gift should cover the interests of both parties. This approach will help to avoid two fundamental mistakes: a) buying a gift according to your preferences; b) buying a gift that meets the preferences of your friend but touches an area that you don’t know anything about. Research indicates that people choose the best gifts for themselves, so it is essential that you like the gift itself, but no less critical is the need for this gift to intersect with the interests of the recipient. Keeping this approach in mind, you can choose a good gift because it will be within your range of knowledge, so it will complement your relationship with the party host, and make it stronger. Let’s return to the example with electronic cigarettes. If you two are fond of e-cigarettes and recently had the opportunity to see a video together on YouTube about how harmful vapes are for health, as the WHO confirms, a good gift would be a program to help you stop using a vaporizer. On the other hand, if the two of you love traveling or maps, you might choose a gift for map lovers. Obviously, this kind of present will be remembered for a long time.
5. When In Doubt, Just Ask
The simplest and most important way to choose the perfect gift is to ask the host what he or she would like to receive. Most people believe in the myth that the quality of a gift is directly proportional to whether you manage to make it a surprise. However, psychologists are not supporters of this view. Social scientists claim that the best gift for a person is the one he or she wants. By asking what a person wants to receive as a gift, you get a chance to make a better gift than someone closer to that person who decided to make it a surprise.
Gift responsibly, and remember that how cool and fun the party is depends on the participation of the partygoers themselves!
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