Phew, we made it through the holidays! And we got amazing gifts, right? And we gave amazing gifts, riiiiight? Ruh Roh. Not. Exactly. The truth is, gifting is hard.  So many factors go into finding the perfect present. In fact, that’s why dearduck was created. We’re delving into the tragicomic realities of gift-giving so that we can turn those gifting frowns upside down. 

The Bad Gifting Cycle

Shopping for gifts can be kinda overwhelming.

We’ve all been there: You get a well-meaning gift that’s just not you and you don’t have the heart to say anything but, “I love it, thanks so much!” with as much of a smile as you can muster. Social expectations and just plain civility demand that we overlook (unless you’re a 3-year old!) when a gift isn’t right and pretend as if it’s just right. After all, people take pride in their gifts and no one wants to spoil someone else’s excitement with, well, the truth.

Faulty Intel

We’re conditioned to be excited about any gift. Any.

Thus the bad gifting cycle begins. Since it’s just not polite to critique a gift after it’s given, we’re all subject to not only the isolated bad gift here or there but a series of them, all based on faulty intel. For example, a famous story around the dearduck office comes from a friend: “My aunt always gives me pieces of Christmas Spode china and she gets so excited each time. I tell her how much I love it to be polite and she gives me more year after year. I have no storage and the pattern is so …not…me!” Ruh roh. So much Christmas Spode, but so little use for it. Classic bad gifting cycle.

Chances are, you’ve also given gifts that are off the mark but probably never had a clue. No wonder so many gifts sit in drawers and closets, or if they’re lucky, get exchanged or returned for something better, a hassle that undermines the very point of gifting.

Probably going to end up in a closet with the others.

Breaking The Cycle

Here at dearduck we’re determined to break the bad gifting cycle and help each other find gifts that truly hit the mark. But how, you ask? How can an app help when my own friends and family—who supposedly know me—sometimes can’t even get it right? The fact is, even the best intentions can make for the worst gifts.

Finding a great gift is all about knowing the detailed, idiosyncratic preferences of the recipient. And we do mean detailed. (“Wait, does Aunt Sally like nuts or hate them?”) dearduck removes the usual gifting pitfalls by remembering all those tiny details that are usually so difficult to capture. But it’s not just knowing those preferences; it’s also about tracking how they change over time. So while a box of peanut butter truffles might have been just the thing for someone 3 years ago, now that’s she’s dairy-free it would be plain wrong.

Stop the bad gifting cycle: let dearduck do the work so that you can be the heroic gift-giver you’ve always wanted to be. Download the dearduck app, now in beta. Tell us in the Comments what Bad Gifting Cycles  you’ve been a part of, from the giving or receiving end!


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