Gifts: The history of presents, and the science of why giving feels so good.

It’s no surprise that gift giving is a big deal to us. It’s the shaking of the box, the frantic unwrapping, and the look of surprise in each person’s face when they open up their gift-it’s those special moments that keep us making products that matter to people.
Frankly, you can’t blame us. I mean, who doesn’t love a bit of gift giving? If our holidays are anything to go by, presenting people with things that we don’t expect anything in return for is a fundamental part of what makes us human. From the Western festivities of Christmas, to the Eastern celebration of the Chinese New Year, there seems to be a form of gift giving in every culture around the globe.

But where does the idea come from? If you were to explain it to an alien, they might be dumbfounded at the concept. Yet if we look back in time, we can clearly see how gifting developed into the modern sense we see it as today.

The history of gift giving

Historians believe that gifts stretch back as far as cavemen times. It’s thought that in tribal life, people would give crude items like stones and teeth. These were given in hope they would win favor with rivals, friends and even potential mates.

Of course, as technology (and artistic ability!) developed, so did our ideas for presents. By the time ancient civilizations like the Greeks came along, gifts had become much more elaborate. Parts of Homer’s Oddysey refer to the importance of gift giving, and Xenia–the ancient Greek’s concept of hospitality–dictated that people should be generous to others.

As we approach the modern age, many folk and religious traditions incorporated gift giving as a way to represent many different aspects of life. Some gifts were used in celebrations (weddings, birthdays), some were used to pay respects to the dead (Día de Muertos), and some were to encourage good behaviour (Christmas).

So, why does it feel good?

Psychologically, gifts are tied heavily to satisfaction. For the giver, knowing that they’ve done something generous gives feelings of self-satisfaction and happiness. For the receiver, they receive a physical reminder that they are loved, and that their relationships are laid on a strong foundation.

Gifts can be a touchy subject, but it’s clear that they have a big impact on our feelings. A good gift can make our day, week or even potentially change our lives for the better!
In fact, research shows that giving gifts creates a positive effect for both the receiver and the gift giver. Really, there’s no downside. The most important part is making sure that the gift is meaningful and reflects the person who is receiving it.

Gifting the right gift, or even giving something as a complete surprise can have a huge effect on your loved ones. Sure, gifts are a great way to mark huge life events, but they’re also pretty nice to get every once in a while, just out of the blue. Nothing says ‘I love you’ more than the exact thing your loved one has been talking non-stop about, without them having to ask for it.

How to guarantee yourself a good gift

At Mywalit we care about making people feel good. That’s why our wallets are made with superb craftsmanship and quality, so that your loved ones know just how much you truly love them.

Gifts should last as long as the relationships they represent, so longevity is vital. Thankfully, our wallets are made from the finest nappa leather that will last a lifetime.