The Art and Science of Gift-giving

Thoughtfully curated gift-giving is an art. And it's also a science. That's right; it's a science, and there's a slew of scientific evidence to prove that gift-giving and receiving affect our physiology and emotions in specific ways. There are even charts and graphs that show which parts of the brain are triggered into an appreciation for the gift and/or can even create ambivalence toward a gift that doesn't quite meet the recipient's own internal standards. So, how can you keep your gift-giving truly valuable for both the giver and receiver? Here's what science has to say about it.


Gifts are about building or acknowledging relationships. It shows you care about your employees and establishes how well you know them in the recipient's mind. So, choosing the wrong gift can be risky for your business relationships because it implies you don't have anything in common. For instance, you wouldn't buy Arriving in Style's curated gift box, 'Cocktails Anyone,' for the man or woman who abstains from alcohol and is an active participant in AA. Neither would you purchase our 'So Sweet' gift box, full of gourmet sugary sweets, for a diabetic employee. Regardless of the expense of the gift, the recipient could only assume you haven't taken the time to know them. It feels impersonal and sends a poor message about YOU, your team-building skills, and your company.


Neurological research suggests we are hard-wired to get pleasure from both giving and receiving gifts. It's our nature and is a pleasure-producing activity. Our brains release the neurotransmitter dopamine, the happy drug, and oxytocin, the hormone that promotes social bonding whenever we give and receive. And our bodies experience the release of these two biochemicals as happiness. As a result, a transformation occurs in both the giver and the receiver, while the gift itself serves as the catalyst for this positive transformation.


Receiving an inappropriate gift with little thought of the employees' preferences and lifestyle, inhibits the release of these chemicals. It backfires, making the recipient ambivalent about the gift and critical of the giver. It just doesn't have the desired effect. Contrary to popular belief, it's not the thought that counts, it's the actual gift that matters. It's important to know your employees so you don't fall into this trap.

In short, there's no doubt about it: giving and receiving gifts makes us happy. And science confirms it.


So, the next time you have an employee appreciation day, your employees' have birthdays, an employee becomes sick, or you just want to say congratulations for a job well done, make sure you follow the science of gift-giving. Know your employees so you can optimize the release of those feel-good biochemicals! And let Arriving in Style take responsibility for the 'art part' of giving with our curated gift boxes. We have a luxury curated gift box for every occasion and celebration to accommodate your employee's tastes and style.