“It’s the thought that counts.” We hear that phrase all the time, don’t we? However, lately we hear it more in context of someone that doesn’t like the gift they’ve been given. But what does that phrase really mean?

Think about to the last time you gave someone a gift. Better yet, think back to the last time you were thinking about what you wanted to give someone you loved. The excitement at the possibilities, the reaction that it would provoke, the look on their face. Just idea of giving someone a gift can get you excited! Clearly, gifts are as much about the giver as they are about the receiver. Quite simply, giving gifts can make us happier.
When you give a gift that hits home, people feel loved. It shows not only that you pay attention to them but also that you’re willing to put in the effort to demonstrate it. It makes the person receiving the gift feel like that are important to you. So give gifts to strengthen relationships, give gifts to enrich them.

Unconvinced about the happiness inducing effects of giving gifts? Well, we hate to break it you, but science is on our side too. Giving gifts has been shown to enhance longevity of relationships, improve mood and even produce endorphins. Consider the fact that generosity has been shown to be part of our DNA as a species and the case is closed. The act of giving gifts, gives back in spades!

Or you could just forget the science and resort to your own lived experience. All you have to do is remember the look on someone’s face when you gave them a surprise gift. If you ask us, that’s all the evidence you need to be convinced!

So the next time you’re gift shopping for someone special, go the extra mile. That’s when the thought truly does count more than the gift itself.