Gifts are a traditional part of Christmas – but why do we give presents at all? - Deepstash
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The Psychology Of Exchanging Gifts

According to French anthropologist Marcel Mauss, gift-giving carries many legal, moral, economical and spiritual aspects, and is significant for the whole social fabric. Many ancient cultures follow the intricate rules of gift exchange, which is not a voluntary act, but rather a comprehensive set of rules based on obligation and formality.

If a person does not take part in this obligatory ritual, he or she risks losing respect, moral authority and even wealth.

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Social Behaviour: The Gifting Protocol

The Gift protocol is a non-voluntary strategy to affirm and strengthen the moral bonds of society.

It is a competitive, formal game that diminishes the pure value of gifts and makes it into a set of rules.

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The Rules Of Social Gift Exchange

  1. Gift-giving is a moral act, with social consequences if done incorrectly. If one signals that he or she is not doing the ‘presents’ thing, the person is then banished from this formality.
  2. Receiving shoddy gifts with a warm 'thank you' is a part of the ritual based on pretentiousness and social deception.
  3. Wrapping and personalization of gifts matter, that is why cheques or vouchers feel cold.

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