Great gift-giving is one of the ultimate tests of empathic skills and resourcefulness. You must both 1) anticipate the needs and desires of another person and 2) source something that will meet those needs 3) while genuinely surprising the gift recipient.
All that work – and especially the work that goes into Christmas gift-giving – deserves more than a quick unwrapping. Here are some ways to enjoy the process of a Christmas morning gift exchange even more:
Let the excitement mount
Use the order in which you give your gifts to build excitement in your recipients. I like to stagger the order in which I give my gifts to family members at Christmastime so the better presents come toward the end. Watch your recipients as they open your gifts and maintain their excitement and energy levels with the next gift choice you make.
Share the gift story
Like an evil villain explaining his master plan, share the story of how and why you got your gifts. People like to see what you see in them (potential for great athleticism? Great love of travel?). Rather than rushing through your Christmas day gift exchange, spend time showing your gift recipients what went into your gifts.
Be a gift trainer
If you want people to get a lot out of your gifts, you might even want to help the recipients learn how to use them properly. I gave my Mom a pair of headphones for her Christmas, and I’ll certainly need to show her how to use them to make hands-free calls. If you give a book to someone who doesn’t read often, you’ll need to give tips on how to work through the book a bit at a time.