That may be because we usually buy gifts for the pleasure it gives us. When we choose, we rarely think about the recipient. That's the conclusion Federica Furino reaches in her article for La Stampa.
Whether we buy gifts throughout the year, or procrastinate until the last minute, we rarely think if they will be liked. Because a purchase is made first and foremost to satisfy the buyer. And that is true also for online purchases, according to Furino. Maybe so.
If the thought is what counts, then why not put some thought into it?
It's not that difficult, really. Let's see, the ultra high tech for your grandmother, the latest novelty for you ultraconservative father. A perfectly appropriate and useful gadget to project rainbows on the walls throughout the year for mom. The exclusive limited edition item for your snobby sister, no matter what the item, and maybe a Christmas decoration or two for those on your list who love this time of the year all year around.
Here's what I do. When I meet people, I listen carefully to spot the things, causes, flavors they're passionate about -- what they say. Like every good marketer, I also observe very closely what they gravitate towards, wear, and tend to light up about -- what they do. From all that, I am willing to learn their story. Even the new story of family and long time friends.
Then I proceed to do the following. Whenever I'm back in Italy, I shop for my trendy and fashionable friends here. At open markets -- there are many every week in about every town and city in the country. In little tucked-away places, not the tourist meccas for sure. Since I've been accused by merchants more than once of looking for something that is not the fashion of the moment, you can bet that what I'm looking for is what will be in fashion next year. I've been proven right more often than not.
I shop for my Italian friends and for family here. Sports goods and fashions that won't break the bank. The latest technology item for the geeks, they also are available in plentiful quantities, colors and versions. Books and music for those so inclined, also available in 'long tail' supply -- I can find just about anything on Amazon or eBay.
Because we tend to like exotic things, those items that are not available in our own backyard, this strategy I perfected over the years works very well. When all goes well, people get to keep their gifts. Otherwise, they just swap.
Grandmother gives the high tech gadget to father, who loves technology. Mom gives the rainbow to the snobby sister who needs a pick-me-up when moody. The novelty item goes to grandmother; after all, she's been around for a while. Grandfather likes the exclusive limited edition item and the Christmas decorations are in good hands, even in July.
Merry Christmas everyone, and thank you for getting in the jolly spirit with me.