Sunday, November 21, 2010

What type of gift giver are you?


As the Christmas season draws nearer and the stores have already pulled out all of their Holiday decorations out of storage. I find my thoughts beginning to center around buying Christmas presents, and that age-old question “What should I give this Christmas?”


While wandering around the internet today I found these 2 informative and entertaining blog posts that each have their unique take on gift giving and gift givers. I’ll expand on them below.

In Elizabeth Barbour’s blog post 5 Types Of Gift Givers she demonstrates these different types of gift givers:

1. Creative Gift Giver - Gives the gift of art. Store bought or hand made.

2. Intellectual Gift Giver - Gives books. Gives educational games and toys that open the mind.

3.Wise Investor Gift Giver - Gives U.S. Savings Bonds and other gifts relating to learning the value of the dollar.

4. Experiential Gift Giver - Gives an experience. Gives tickets to a sporting event, the theatre, a concert - or a gift certificate to a favorite restaurant or local spa.

5. Green Gift Giver - Gives green gifts. Supports organizations and companies that protect the environment.


In Tony Connor’s post Gift Givers: How They Vary In Intent And Execution he outlines the differences between these 7 types of gift givers:

1. THE STOCKPILER: has been known to hoard gifts for several years.

2. THE ORGANIZER: tends to know by heart the birthdays, anniversaries and other significant dates of their relatives and friends.

3. THE OVERTHINKER: agonizes over every gift they give.

4. THE LAST-MINUTER: leaves gift shopping until the day before (or even on the way!) and refuse to think about the gift until then. They can be seen at the mall or large stores on Christmas Eve with numerous bags of stuff.

5. THE FORGETFUL ONE: forgets peoples birthdays and other occasions. If they do actually get a gift well in advance they will probably forget to bring it on the day. They are gleefully welcomed by the proprietors of mini-marts and gas stations, being their main revenue source for greetings cards, gift cards, boxes of chocolates and those dusty DVDs.

6. THE CRAFTER: doesn't believe that it's a true gift unless at least part of it has had work put into it.

7. THE DELEGATOR: knows when birthdays etc. are but has no interest in what they actually give. They pass on the choice of gift to their significant other, siblings, secretary etc.


So the first post focuses on the values behind gift giving, while the second post concentrates on the organizational skills behind the gift giving – or as he himself puts it, the intent and execution. So 2 different takes (or perspectives) on gift giving.





Well, values-wise I am probably mostly a creative gift giver (especially, if gadgets count as “art” too ;), an  intellectual gift giver and an experiential gift giver.

  • I’ve given posters, art, decorations, etc. as presents, as well as electronics and gadgets (creative giver).
  • But I have also given books as presents (intellecual giver).
  • And on a few occasions I have given trips to the movies, and one time on a special occasion, also a trip to the spa (experiential giver).

If I was to categorize my own gift-giving values I guess I would say that I am an “enjoyment gift giver” rather than a “practical gift giver”. Meaning that I want to give people things that will give them enjoyment, experiences, or happiness in some form. I like to give people things that I know they want, but that they would not usually buy. In other words, I wouldn’t buy you a pair of socks for Christmas (even though I know it’s practical), but I would give you a trip for 2 to the movies instead. That’s just my philosophy on this. You’re welcome to disagree. Feel free to drop a line or two in the comments about it. 



As for my organizational skills, well, let’s just say they leave something to be desired, lol.

I am definitely not a stockpiler, however, I know someone in my family who is. It’s funny, but I can see some of my friends and family members in these different types :)

No, I’m unfortunately an overthinker (hence this blog post!), however I’ve also been known to be the last-minuter and the forgetful one. I laughed when I first read the line about the last-minuter: “They can be seen at the mall or large stores on Christmas Eve with numerous bags of stuff.” That was definitely me, some Christmas’es ago. I once did my Christmas shopping the day before Christmas, and the following year I did my Christmas shopping on the day. Needless to say both times were stressful and expensive, so after that I started planning ahead. 

But on the bright side, I did all my Christmas shopping online last year (the organizer), so I’m getting better! And I’m thinking of doing the same again this year. That’s why I’m already juggling different gift ideas in my head.

So here was a little inside look (for me, as well as for you) at the different types of gift givers that are all around us.


Which type of gift giver are you? Do you recognize any of these gift-giving types in people you know, like your significant other, friends or family members?


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