These are the 10 questions you should ask before you start buying Christmas gifts

Do you have that one friend who returns every single Christmas gift without fail? A new report compiled by psychologists says it's all about digging a bit deeper before hitting the shops – and asking the right questions

Every one of us has likely received a Christmas gift we'll never use. We can never really know the art of the individual gifting process – except that we always remember if we received something we didn't imagine we'd ever get.

Some call it bad gifting, others call it thinking outside the box, but either way, British psychologists have come up with the answer — asking our loved ones a series of innocuous, yet highly insightful questions, in a bid to find out what they really want for Christmas.

Get out of a gifting rut


The list comes after research from TK Maxx showed that two-thirds of us are gifting unsuitable presents – even as shoppers spend a massive €22 billion on them each year.

Their study looked at the behavioural biases some of us adopt when buying and receiving a present, including the taboo of asking for what you want (the thing the majority of us are wary of doing).

Should you be in a gifting rut, psychologists claim the set of questions are devised for anyone so they might discover untapped information about their giftee.

The questions

Researchers investigated the gifting phenomenon because they discovered one in 12 of us can’t answer a single personal question about the people we buy presents for, which, basically, says a lot more about us than our buying habits!

They are, as follows:

1. Imagine you have 24 hours to do anything you want. Sky’s the limit. What would you do?


2. Finish this sentence: ‘I’m the world’s unknown expert in…’

3. This Christmas you decide to donate everything you own except three items. What do you keep?

4. What’s the one thing you could watch or read about forever and never get bored of?

5. What’s something people assume you like, but you secretly don’t?

6. What’s the one thing you own that you still haven’t used yet and why?

7. Not including me, who’s the best gift-giver you know? Why?

8. When was the last time someone did something thoughtful for you?


9. What’s the best gift you’ve ever given someone (other than me)?

10. And finally, share what you are looking forward to most next year...

The idea behind the questions is based on adopted techniques and question types, typically used by a range of professionals to elicit information, thus allowing gifters to gently probe the recipient’s interests and wishes, therefore revealing their deepest gift desires.

Not convinced? Give it a try and see how you get on...

Happy shopping!

Main photograph: Unsplash


The image newsletter