The good people at Mashwork analyzed over 20,000 tweets and came up with some pretty interesting insights about holiday travel.
Ever seen one of those people whose eyes light up when they talk about what they’re buying people for Xmas? This is the same person who spent hours making people mixtapes, helps people when they moving, listens when you talk…
That person isn’t me.
Or my family…
It’s been years since we stopped exchanging gifts during the holidays. The reason? We suck at it.
The Yang’s are practical people – why would you buy a gift when you could just give somebody money and they can buy what they want? So we started giving each other gift cards… then we started writing cheques and putting them in cards… then it was just cash…
Eventually we realized that the annual exchange of dollar bills was pretty meaningless, and kind of a mockery of the joyous time of year. So it just stopped altogether.
Still, sometimes I wish I could have that feeling that people get when they watch someone open their gift and know it’s perfect. I know, I know “it’s the thought that counts…”
Bulls*^t. Take a look at this Xmas sweater and tell me that the gift doesn’t count.
Buying the perfect gift is hard. Because the perfect gift isn’t about how much money you spend or the generic gift finder app you use. The perfect gift is something unique. And by unique I’m not talking about a Fabergé egg. I’m talking about unique in the sense that it says something about you as the gift giver, something about the recipient and most importantly represents something special about the relationship that you have with them. It’s a gift that you’re “uniquely qualified’ to give – whether it costs ten bucks or ten thousand.
One of the best gifts I ever got was from my sister (back when we did gifts). It was a picture of the village that my dad grew up in. She took it when she was on her backpacking tour of Asia. What made it a great gift? She’s one of the only people who knew that I always doubted that my dad actually grew up in sparse conditions; she actually went there and took it. And it has her thumb accidentally covering part of the lens. Perfect.
Problem is that the investment of time required to go from writing a cheque to finding the perfect gift is enormous. Like scaling Mt. Everest enormous.
Or maybe not. Your brother always wanted that Millennium Falcon model back when you were kids? Bet you can find a NOS one on ebay. Not so big on buying “used”? Digital is making product customization easier than ever. Girlfriend wants the new iPod shuffle? Forget the engraving – load it up with her 10 favourite tracks and now you’re giving her a mixtape… and even if you want to do money in a card… YouTube is living proof that even a monkey can record a video these days – a QR code on a Hallmark card can get you that much closer to a loved one who lives half way ‘round the world.
To all you retailers and brands out there, instead of filling your gift finders with equal parts $50, $100 and $200 gifts maybe you could try giving me a way to make something into the perfect gift. If you do, then you might just get the Yang’s giving again…