How to find the perfect Christmas gift
People give presents for many reasons: to show affection, curry favor, or fulfill familial duty.
But figuring out how to show your love for someone through a gift can be stressful.
Here are some tips that may help you in finding the perfect Christmas gift, according to CBS News.
Get one big present - A big present looks more impressive when it stands on its own, according to a study reported last year in the Journal of Consumer Research.
Use that wish list - Buying something straight off a person's wish list may be the safest strategy, said Nicholas Epley, a psychologist at the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago.
Epley's team has found that when people receive a gift they like, they didn't actually care whether someone put a lot of careful thought into selecting it.
His team conducted a study at the Museum of Science in Chicago where people were asked to either randomly select or carefully choose a high-rated or low-rated present from the gift shop for another person. Those who got coveted items didn't think much about the giver's intentions.
"What we found is that a gift giver's thoughtfulness, or how thoughtful you thought the gift giver was, counted only when you got a crappy gift," Epley told LiveScience.
But despite the fact that a good gift needs no context, getting a thoughtful gift does have benefits -- for the giver, the researchers said.
Givers who were asked to think carefully about a gift choice felt closer to the receivers than those who were asked to pick randomly, Epley said. That held even when givers were offering presents to random strangers.
But mention the thought, say scientists.
Thoughts do wind up counting when you get a bad gift, Epley found. For instance, when the museum visitors in his study received a low-rated ruler that said "Rulers of Science" on it, they were more likely to appreciate the gift if they were told how the giver had thoughtfully selected it.
But if thinking about giving or receiving is stressful, it's okay to not give a gift as long you communicate it clearly, SunWolf, a communications professor at Santa Clara University told LiveScience.
"Just like any relationships that don't work anymore we need to have an exit strategy," she said.
Instead, come up with an alternate way of showing you care, like telling grandma "The gift giving thing isn't necessary anymore grandma, I'd be happy with just having lunch with you."
Or consider regifting- recycling a gift you've received previously, said scientists.
A new research in the journal Psychological Science suggests regifting may not be as offensive as once thought, at least to the gift giver.
To improve acceptance of regifting, the researchers suggested voicing your feelings when recycling a present, even expressing to the receiver that it's OK for them to do what they like with the gift (even if that means passing it along next year).