Gifts in crisis: What has changed in our attitude towards them?

Есть проблема: беспорядок на кухонной столешнице

The current crisis has even more clearly indicated the tendency to “give useful things”: I really don’t want to spend money and receive outright nonsense as a gift, the fate of which is to gather dust on the mezzanine. Gifts-emotions came to the fore, gifts at the request of the addressee as an alternative to money in an envelope. And all kinds of skills that can be useful in everyday life, or at least please in the learning process.

Rikki Snyder

“Ice cream for children”? …
In our country, it is not customary to give bouquets to men. Not only for the Defender of the Fatherland Day, but even on the occasion of the anniversary. And, on the contrary, beautiful flowers (taking into account the traditional seasonal rise in price) become almost the only gift for mom, wife and girlfriend. With the crisis, nothing in this area has changed, but, on the contrary, has worsened.

This is confirmed by sales statistics: Russian men practically do not buy creative gifts for Women’s Day. Whereas “women are more active and more willing to spend money on designer gifts; This has always been the case – both before the crisis and now: we see a clear peak in sales for the holidays on February 14 and 23, but at the beginning of March there are noticeably fewer visitors and orders, ”says Marusya Vdovichenko, director of the Prosto Tak chain of unusual gifts stores.

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Nina Frolova

Gift cards instead of things
The good old gift cards that we always used to save ourselves, not knowing what to give, today can do a disservice. It’s no secret that many of us are ready to spend less on a gift than before, and on many cards they write their denomination – there is always a chance to be unpleasantly surprised.

sarah & bendrix

However, if the recipient of the gift is not suspicious, the certificate to an interior or hardware store is likely to be accepted favorably. In a turbulent financial period, many of us turn on the drive to save money, and a gift certificate, which is usually valid for more than one year, will just wait in the wings.

Fact: The National Agency for Financial Research found that 30% of Russians in the new conditions refuse to buy household items. This is another argument in favor of a gift card and a green light for those who believe that the recipient can use the money more wisely than the giver.

Lamp

New degree of gift
“It would be a big exaggeration to say that gift certificates will ruin the gift-giving industry. Not at all, – says Yegor Arsenyev, founder of the Lost and Found chain of stores. – As in the last crisis, people go to gift shops, they just choose something else: instead of serial and circulation products, they prefer author’s handmade things. For example, a couple of years ago, a hit in our stores were notebooks stylized as the book “Diary of a Madman”, mugs with inscriptions and funny doormats. Today, they are more willing to buy handmade items in a single copy.

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If we talk about numbers, I can compare the volumes for the last and the current New Year: in 2015 there was an obvious “sales crisis”, and this pre-holiday season was on an amazing rise – both in absolute and in relative numbers. People, perhaps, have come to terms with the current course and financial situation and are again ready to spend money on gifts.

And, by the way, despite all the propaganda of healthy lifestyles on the network, copyright shots and everything related to alcohol is selling well. I will not comment on this in any way – just sales statistics. “

RedAgape Blog

It’s not a shame to ask – it’s a shame not to ask
Services “making wishes as a gift” came to us from abroad. Initially, they were a cool solution for a wedding: in order not to receive five sets and ten irons as a gift, the newlyweds made a list of their “wants” and sent it to friends and family. Those could reserve a desire for themselves – and the gifts were not repeated. Now the youth actively use the services of desires: the My Wish List portal was the pioneer in the industry, the services My Wishboard and LesterWish work on a similar principle.

You may not use the service itself, but you can find great gift ideas on it if you personally have no ideas (and the addressee refuses to hint). Looking at other people’s wishlists, you may come across an interesting idea among them that will come in handy for you.

Design by Ekaterina Kolegova Ecole

Return of handmade gifts
Another fashionable Western hobby is handmade gifts. Overseas bloggers tirelessly shoot inspiring step-by-step master classes on how to surprise friends with unusual packaging, a painted plate or a knitted napkin. We are hindered by natural modesty: cute homemade products are traditionally given by schoolchildren to grandmothers. But here, too, the situation is gradually changing.

Anna Fomenko

“According to the experience of children’s holidays of the last year, more and more schoolchildren came to visit us with gifts of their own making. And personally, I now go on a visit with a cupcake of my own pastry: tasty, healthy, budget. For the first time, I spied on how great it is to decorate handmade gifts from friends in London. A jar of homemade strawberry jam or freshly baked muffins and scones (five-o-clocks buns) were wrapped in beautiful napkins and folded into gift boxes, and then tied with ribbons.

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It looked smart, the smell of fresh baked goods was crazy – why not try making such gifts yourself? A narrow muffin pan was found (long narrow muffins are easier to pack) and since then I have baked chocolate muffins quite often as a gift. Some friends traditionally expect this particular cupcake from us, and it always brings joy, ”Olga Bozhko shares her observations.

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Ingrid Rasmussen Photography

We give skills
It has been noticed: in difficult economic situations, a person is often drawn to manual labor. It is unlikely that the situation will become so difficult that we will have to feed on the sale of clay pots or painted nesting dolls. But, apparently, some ancient reflexes are triggered here too. This partly explains the popularity of master classes as a gift: receiving such a present, a person wins twice – first from positive emotions in the process, then from the result in the form of a finished decor item.

Kim Pearson Pty Ltd

If you are well acquainted with the person whom you want to please with a gift, then, most likely, you have heard more than once stories about how in his youth he loved to draw, but entered an economic university, or always dreamed of turning a summer cottage into a paradise oasis, but how- then hands did not reach. These unfulfilled dreams are easy to realize now, and a certificate for a master class in painting, floristry or even casting from concrete will be a practical gift.

Advice: Take advantage of discounts on classes for two or in a group – especially if you and your loved ones have similar hobbies.

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If the potential recipient does not show any melancholy due to unfulfilled desires, feel free to give a lesson in the pottery workshop: working with clay relieves stress better than an evening in front of the TV, and a good mood in our circumstances will not be superfluous.

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Gifts from the flea market
Another popular design theme in recent years is to love vintage in all its forms. For many years we got rid of the bourgeois stories associated with domestic life, and now we are left in the interiors cleared to the ground. In this sense, we are very close to the French: the heirs of the old estates are actively selling the property of their relatives for a penny only because they are financially unable to pay taxes and enter the inheritance. That is why the culture of flea markets in Europe is so popular, and gradually it takes root in Russia.

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In addition to free time, you will need a good taste of a connoisseur, patience and indulgence, but among dusty glasses and Soviet celluloid dolls there is a chance to find a rare and almost priceless souvenir.

Neslihan Pekcan / Pebbledesign

Free cleaning
Gift certificates are sold not only by shops, but also by services that offer cleaning of apartments. You simply donate the service, and the recipient himself negotiates with the company when it is convenient for him to meet the service employees. On the one hand, the practical move will appeal to those who do not like to give and receive trinkets; on the other hand, for a start it is worth asking if your loved ones are ready to let strangers into the house. And yes – do not forget about the subtle feelings of the recipient: someone, having received such a gift, may decide that you are hinting at imperfect cleanliness in their house.

Breathe Architecture

Husband for an hour
Another non-standard gift that should only be presented to a loyal addressee is minor repair services, or the so-called “husband for an hour”. A young girl or a family of busy people has neither the skills nor the time to fix a tap or install a dishwasher – so let a paid professional do it!

Fact: The service “husband for an hour” is included in some packages of “gifts-impressions” – sets with a list of services that the recipient of the gift can choose from. If you are not sure about the recipient’s reaction to a stranger in the house, it is better to prevent misunderstanding and give alternatives.

Jeanette karlsen

Savings on packaging
Beautifully packing a box with a souvenir is sometimes like buying another gift: decorators’ services, especially on the eve of mass holidays, are not cheap. This problem can be easily solved by hand: practice folding the corners and using double-sided tape on the simplest wrapping paper, and then feel free to go to the “finishing” design. Buying a roll of gift wrapping and accessories will cost several times less than a packaging service in a store.

RedAgape Blog

By the way, speaking of paper: bright rolls with “luxurious” patterns are more expensive, but have long gone out of fashion. Pay attention to craft paper: it’s easier to work with it, it’s not a pity to spoil it, and small but pleasant additions will help to give the packaging a festive look – a bright ribbon, a knitted heart or a textile bow, which is also easy to make with your own hands.

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About Leona Smith 115 Articles
Hello! My name is Silke and this is my travel blog. I want to show you fascinating places off the beaten track, give you a gentle introduction to history and culture, and help you get around Berlin. After 13 years in Sydney and Andalusia, I now live in Berlin, Germany. I am a travel writer, translator and book author. Read more about me here.

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