Food, water, and shelter are said to be the three human necessities, but there’s an argument to be made that gift giving is a close fourth; if it’s not a biological necessity, it at least appears to be a social one.
The practice of gift giving certainly seems as integrally woven into human history as finding shelter, gathering food, or lighting fires. Even back in an era that predates any defined civilization, cavemen are known to have offered each other gifts as signs of love or respect; evidence suggests they would even give gifts as shows of peace to other tribes.
Since this common point of origin so many centuries ago, giving gifts has spiraled into a uniquely cultural practice that has different implications and different rituals depending on where in the world it is taking place. Gift giving is not only a physical expression of affection and appreciation, but also a manifestation of societal values.
The gifts that people give in a given culture are based upon what that culture has come to value most highly at that point in time. As vapid and superficial as modern culture is often made out to be, studies show that authenticity is becoming increasingly important to contemporaries. With that in mind, it’s no wonder that seeking out unique gifts feels more important than ever.
Navigating The Concept of Unique Gifts
In a world that demands authenticity and individuality, finding a way to convey those traits through a gift might feel like a tall order. There are actually some scientifically proven ways to give unique gifts that recipients will love, though.
First and foremost, the giver should make sure that they’re purchasing something that resonates with the recipient as an individual; a more expensive gift doesn’t necessarily translate to a more meaningful or unique one, so price point shouldn’t be a huge consideration.
A 2013 study found that socially responsible donations actually provided an increase in happiness for both the giver (the person who made the donation) and the “recipient” (the person in whose name the donation was made). In these cases, the recipient didn’t receive a physical present, but still enjoyed positive emotions as a result.
A unique gift is based entirely upon the person receiving it. Their personality and core values should be at the heart of the gift. The old adage is true here: it really is the thought that counts.
Finding The Right Unique Gift for A Special Occasion
All of this boils down to a clear answer on the question of unique gifting: when it comes time to find a gift that breaks the mold, particularly if that gift is intended for someone in their 20s or Many people find themselves struck with the urge to give a gift outside of the normal scope of holidays. There are plenty of reasons to give gifts beyond the holiday season, like teacher appreciation day, for example—every educator could use a reminder that their work is valued.
There are plenty of other causes for a celebration that warrant tokens of affection, like graduations, new jobs, or simple shows of employee appreciation, even though they’re not traditionally included in lists of holidays, and they don’t stake a specific claim on the calendar.
While special occasions like these are bound to pop up a number of times over the course of the year, the inspiration for unique gifts to accompany them may not spring as organically. Considering that gift giving is a reflection upon current social values, bear in mind that 68% of millennials made a purchase that provided a social or environmental benefit in the last 12 months when musing over gift ideas.
This sort of socially responsible purchasing has become so common in recent years that scientists are laying the framework to continue studying the phenomenon over the next decade. It appears that more and more people are putting their money to work for their ethics and making purchases that have a positive impact.
30s, then all signs point to a charitable gift with a positive environmental or social impact.
Plant A Tree
After a particularly devastating season of forest fires in 2019, the Amazon suffered tree losses totaling around a billion. At a time when climate change poses a larger global threat than just about anything else, this devastation is especially acute.
Work can still be done to mitigate this disaster, and it can even take the form of a wholly unique gift idea. Global organizations are working harder than ever to bring awareness to the looming threat of climate change, and those efforts are paying off—recent data shows that 72% of Americans say that climate change is important to them personally.
Considering that the tenets of unique gift giving dictate that a gift should reflect both the social values and individual preferences of the recipient, what better way to celebrate someone’s new promotion or their success with a recent project than to have a tree planted in the Amazon for them?
Planting a single tree costs merely $9, but it eliminates a ton (literally one ton) of CO2 from circulating in the environment and contributing to the rapid degradation of the global climate. Not only is this an incredible way to help the planet, but it’s also a wonderful and fulfilling way to show someone that their accomplishments and personal ethos are recognized.
Uniqueness and authenticity are the names of the game when it comes to modern gift giving; there’s nothing quite so impactful as making a difference for the environment and helping to replant the Amazon.
As many as you like!$XUSD
You’re a hero! You’ve helped eliminate 10 tons CO2 from the environment!