s Thoughts from the Physics Chick: The Gift-Giving Guide, Part VI

Sunday, January 28, 2007

The Gift-Giving Guide, Part VI

2-3 The Requested Gift

What it is: This gift is just what it sounds like: a present that’s been specifically requested by the recipient. This present is the exact opposite of the Random Gift, since it’s inherently non-random.

Who it’s good for: Gift registries have become traditional at weddings; they’re an easy way of making sure that the bride and groom get things that they will actually need and use. More generally, it’s probably better to ask someone what they want than to spend a bunch of money on the wrong thing. (This is particularly the case when the person you’re buying the gift for doesn’t have much money.) Also, some people would just rather that you asked them what they want, instead of trying to guess. (I read a recent article about how you tend to be something like 10% more satisfied with gifts you select yourself than with gifts that others buy you. If your giftee would find that a compelling argument, then they’ll prefer a Requested Gift.)

Who it’s not good for: Some people would rather have a surprise, even if it’s not exactly what they’d ask for.

Bottom line: It’s no fun knowing everything you’re getting for your birthday or Christmas, but you can often increase the overall “satisfaction quotient” of a giftee if you just ask them what they want.


At January 28, 2007 10:54 PM, Blogger Becca said...

I think Christmases are best when you get most everything on your list, and then one or two surprises.

At January 29, 2007 7:59 AM, Blogger Petra said...

You forgot who else it's good for: purples. I am relieved to finally see my favorite kind of gift make an appearance.

At February 06, 2007 12:36 AM, Blogger Th. said...


I read that article too.

But if you're paying attention, people always ask for what they want. They just might do it in April.

At February 06, 2007 3:27 PM, Blogger ambrosia ananas said...

The problem I have is that I want to receive specific gifts, but I want them to be surprises. (This only applies to gifts from husbands, though.) Basically, I expect Bawb to be a mindreader.

We generally solve the problem by making lists of twenty-odd things we'd like to receive, and then just picking the person's gifts from their list. Although clearly, it's still a problem when I expect to receive that one item off the list but refuse to tell Bawb which it is.


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