5 ways to give better gifts this holiday season

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Kendal Perez from CouponSherpa.com explains.

  1. Think of them, but think of yourself, too

Getting a culinary gift for your favorite foodie? Maybe it should tie in to your own favorite dish. Considering something crafty for a crochet lover? A pattern that reflects your style could be the best fit. That's because, according to a paper in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, a gift that incorporates your tastes is ideal.

  1. If you go big, don't add a small touch

If you're of the mind that more is more when it comes to gifts, think again! Adding a sweet stocking stuffer as an extra to a premium present just takes away from your big gesture.


  1. Give guys a gift with a connection

In a romantic relationship with a man? Be careful what you give him. A 2008 paper called "The Gift of Similarity: How Good and Bad Gifts Influence Relationships" points out that while woman don't mind getting a dud gift from a dude, it doesn't work out the other way around. Men felt "less similar" to their partners when the present didn't hit the mark.

Prop: A Shun culinary knife. (Shared connection is cooking).

  1. Charity begins (and ends) off the gift list

A thoughtful charitable contribution is definitely appreciated by the charity, but not necessarily the person whose name it's given in. A paper in the journal of Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes looked at how people felt about charity gifts, and while many liked giving them, most folks preferred getting anything else.

Solution: Give gifts that provide proceeds to a charitable organization, like TOMS Shoes, Sevenly and more.

Prop: A pair of TOMS Shoes (one-for-one giving)

  1. But whatever you do, do give

The real gift you give during the holiday season is the one you give yourself — just by giving. Multiple studies, whether looking at children or adults, prove that's where the real joy lies. People "are happier spending money on others than themselves," Lara Aknin, a psychology professor at Simon Fraser University said.

Prop: Assortment of traditional gifts like holiday coffee mug, apparel, jewelry.