Gift giving fear: Why you should calm down

CAMP HILL, Pa. (WHTM) - It’s a time for holiday cheer, but many are filled with gift giving fear.

Research shows an adult will spend an average of $1,000 on gifts for loved ones this year.

How can you avoid the stress of finding the perfect item? Psychologists say take the stress off the stuff and increase quality time with loved ones.

“You can’t go wrong with the thoughtful route, regardless of how much money it is,” Camp Hill psychologist Dr. Pauline Wallin said.

But the gift might not be as memorable as you hope.

“I like to ask kids every January or February, what did you get for Christmas?” Wallin said. “They invariably go ‘umm’.”

A psychologist for decades, Wallin has never had a child say their parents didn’t give them the right gift. What people recall best is quality time together.

“One woman remembered every Saturday morning she and her dad would go out for doughnuts,” she said.

Wallin said commercials and ads are partly to blame for the focus on stuff.

“If you look at ads on TV or online or magazines, it shows a very emotional time of someone getting a new car or a big diamond and you are the hero for the moment and they love you for it. It makes you so important to give that gift,” she said.

But Christmas is not a time for you to be a hero.

“If you think you’re going to be the big hero with your kids by giving them something really expensive, that’s not necessarily the case,” Wallin said. “You’re going to be a hero with your kids when you talk to them, give them time, give them of yourself. Of course, this is a time for gift giving. Give them something, but if they don’t like it, they’ll forgive you. They’ll forget it over time.”

What about people you haven’t seen in a while?

“Instead of an e-card, send a real card. Instead of a text, have a phone call,”.Wallin said. “Pick up the phone. It would be really fun to do. You’re probably thinking of calling them, talking to them. Now is a great time to do that, just to catch up.”


More Stories

Don't Miss

  • 18 Mobile Apps
    Copyright 2018 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Ski Report
  • Jump Start to Living Well
    Copyright 2018 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • How Cool Is Your School?
    Copyright 2018 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • WETM Special Reports

Trending Stories

Latest News

Video Center