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#MicroblogMondays 16: Give or Receive?

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An interesting breakdown in holiday commercials is how many show a person receiving something they want (I’ve been good all year and now I get a car!) and how many show someone giving the perfect gift (I know you so well that I got you the perfect necklace!).  My completely unscientific count shows more commercials of people happily giving than ecstatically receiving.  Though I think if we were all brutally honest, we’d admit that it’s sort of more fun to receive.  It makes me wonder what the psychology is behind the advertisements: what makes people buy more items if they see people happily giving than happily receiving?

Don’t get me wrong: it’s fun to give, but how many people choose to do a community service project to celebrate their birthday (other than Josh) and how many people want to sit back and be pampered and get presents?

So here’s the scenario (and be honest): would you rather host a blog giveaway for a really great item that you don’t own and know you made someone else really happy, or would you rather win the giveaway and get to keep that item forever?  Me?  I think right now that I’d want to win more than I’d want to host.


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1. Karen (River Run Dry) 16. Unpregnant Chicken 31. Mary Francis
2. Persnickety 17. S 32. My Path To Mommyhood (Jess)
3. A. 18. Infertile Hope 33. Laurel Regan @ Alphabet Salad
4. Just Heather 19. apluseffort 34. Uma S
5. D 20. Shail 35. Junebug
6. JB 21. Vidya Sury Collecting Smiles 36. Withlove, Tania
7. Parenthood Diaries 22. Bio Girl 37. Kimberly
8. Infertile Girl 23. Mali (No Kidding in NZ) 38. deathstar
9. Solo Mama 24. Mali (A Separate Life) 39. stephanie (Travelcraft Journal)
10. Gil (The Hardest Quest) 25. Self Control on Difficult Days 40. Ke Anne
11. Cristy 26. dennasus 41. Tara
12. Loribeth (The Road Less Travelled) 27. Daryl 42. Kasey
13. Emma (Muddy Boots and Diamonds) 28. Isabelle
14. Geochick 29. Fran
15. Non Sequitur Chica 30. queenjohnsonclan


1 Persnickety { 12.15.14 at 7:07 am }

Tricky question. I do like to win things, but being able to give someone something they really really want is also very fun.
It does depend on how people react- I think part of the fatigue I am seeing with gift giving is the poor quality of the receiving. It’s no fun to give something that is not appreciated.
But then again, I always win the weird prize, so happy to skip that.

2 Karen (River Run Dry) { 12.15.14 at 7:07 am }

Is it sad that I’d want to know what the thing was before I gave an answer? Probably means I’d want to win, unless it was something I didn’t really want, or it was going to someone really, really deserving and who NEEDED the item more than I did.

But I would love someone hosting a blog giveaway for me, not just because of the item, but because it would show me that people love me and want to participate in doing something nice for me. I think that, moreso than getting whatever item it is, would make me so happy. Sort of proof that people love me and that I am connected to them.

3 Valery Valentina { 12.15.14 at 8:11 am }

I love to reuse items. My neighbour told me she still has some clothes she wants to give to my Suzy. Her daughter is 19, so the clothes are likely to be old. Also her daughter has Down syndrome, and is still watching a VHS tape of the little mermaid. The tape is so grey I couldn’t even recognise anything but snow. I found a ‘new’second hand box of tapes on the internet for her, and I’m excited to give it to them, more than I’m excited to get the clothes, that is just to avoid more shopping…
As for blogs giving / receiving; I try to not let the virtual and the real world meet, it makes me feel uncomfortable.

4 D { 12.15.14 at 8:48 am }

This is so easy for me…I’d definitely rather give than receive. Here is the main reason- I have a serious present opening phobia (no joke), which made my wedding and baby shower very uncomfortable for me. I am always anxious and worried that when I am opening a present that I am not going to have the right reaction, which will therefore upset the giver. I love giving people stuff, though. I love baking and making gift baskets. ๐Ÿ™‚

5 Courtney { 12.15.14 at 9:03 am }

Yesterday, after a long business trip that took me away from the kids for too long, I found myself in a curmudgeonly state of mind as I opened a Macy’s box that was delivered, thinking it was my new suit, only to discover I’d opened my Christmas present from my sister-in-law who lives in England and doesn’t know me. I was feeling martyrish because, seriously, opening my own Christmas present? Which was cuticle cream? It just seemed like everything wrong with the season represented in that action. BUT. I am so excited about my kids’ stockings and have loved putting time and care into them so I guess I’d say, as an adult, there is more joy in giving than receiving, generally. And I am stealing Josh’s tradition and going to start doing a service project on my birthday. that is an amazing idea.

6 JB { 12.15.14 at 9:08 am }

Great question. I LOVE giving, and I am honestly more excited to see others open presents that I have very thoughtfully picked out than I am about opening my own presents. I get upset when people wait until the last minute and give silly, meaningless gifts. Why give a gift if you haven’t taken the time to truly consider the person you’re buying for?

With that said, I feel like my birthday is different than Christmas to me. Birthdays are for pampering. I feel like Christmas is for giving and watching the joy on other’s faces. I can’t wait to see D’s face when he comes downstairs to see his gifts on Christmas. Hopefully he’s old enough to understand, at least a little bit!

7 Gil { 12.15.14 at 9:53 am }

Easy. Give. ALWAYS give. I love giving and I really don’t like receiving all that much. I have ‘receiving angst’ to be sure. I am just happier to try to make other people happy. I say “try” because it’s hard to know if my efforts are sufficient sometimes. I wonder if “a box of chocolates” is enough for the neighbour down the street who lost her husband a couple of years ago… that sort of thing. All I can do is try though. And hope that the thought counts.

Sending hugs to you and yours for a joyous holiday season Mel!

8 Cristy { 12.15.14 at 10:12 am }

I’m with D about being a giver. This stems from childhood, where being the giver was rewarded and being the receiver was seen as selfish. Also with the fact that I hate being the center of attention. Over the years, I’ve worked hard to hone gift-giving skills: being mindful of the receiver and their likes, tastes, etc. Spending time working on the presentation (wrapping, box-size, etc). To finally having the moment where they open it. In a weird way, I get more out of that experience then I do with receiving gifts, which I usually struggle with.

But that’s a post for another time.

9 Ana { 12.15.14 at 10:34 am }

Definitely giving brings me way more joy. I was just thinking about how I participate in the Secret Santa exchange at work because I love the challenge of trying to find something the recipient will love—even (or especially) when I don’t know the person at all & have to try to figure it out. I’ve done it for the past 6 years and I’ve NEVER gotten anything I’ve liked—all just random generic gifts like chocolates (and not the kind I like) or smelly hand creams that go straight in the regift pile (or trash). I find receiving gifts to be more about potential disappointment followed by the effort of concealing that disappointment (especially when its a loved one’s gift) and the guilt involved in not being thrilled by the gift. I am always SO EXCITED to give my kids presents. We’ve got christmas (no gifts for adults, only small gifts for kids) and my son’s birthday next week and I am bursting!

10 nonsequiturchica { 12.15.14 at 12:02 pm }

If I have a GREAT present for someone I love to give it to them, but most of the time I have a hard time figuring out gifts so I would rather receive. ๐Ÿ™‚

11 Kaeleigh { 12.15.14 at 1:15 pm }

Honestly? Win. Not so much for the “stuff” but because hosting a give away is a lot of work! LOL Right ow there is enough hard work going around, I really don’t want more to add to the list.
In the same vein though I am most excited for giving presents this Christmas than receiving.

12 Sharon { 12.15.14 at 1:21 pm }

When I was younger, I would’ve definitely rather won the giveaway and kept the item for myself, but I find that the older I get, the more I enjoy giving and the less I enjoy receiving. (In fact, I have a hard time even thinking of ideas of things to tell friends and family when they ask me what I want for Christmas because there just aren’t many *things* I want these days.)

13 Mrs T { 12.15.14 at 1:28 pm }

I like to receive gifts (who doesn’t?). But I really am the sap who is more excited to watch someone open what I got them than open something myself. This year is going to suck because I have been so busy that my gifts aren’t particularly thoughtful :/

14 Vidya Sury { 12.15.14 at 1:35 pm }

At this moment, I want to give away! because all I can think of is reaching my personal deadline of clearing space – so I really do not want anything right now. ๐Ÿ˜€

Hey Mel, wear walking shoes and come explore my market with me! ๐Ÿ™‚

15 andy { 12.15.14 at 1:36 pm }

I love WINNING things which I see as slightly different from being GIVEN things. I prefer to give gifts then to receive them, but if it’s a contest, I’m all about the winning!

16 Shail { 12.15.14 at 1:38 pm }

To be honest, I’d definitely like to receive. But curiously enough, when I had a caption contest at my blog, I chose to give exactly the item I was dying to buy for myself, a book about birds and bird-watching. ๐Ÿ™‚

17 Lisa { 12.15.14 at 2:10 pm }

Honestly, it depends on what it is!

18 Mali { 12.15.14 at 2:29 pm }

Both, please! Love giving, but winning something is different again from simply receiving a gift.

When it comes to Christmas, I prefer giving, as frankly, aside from my husband, the rest of my family are not good gift givers! And my SIL (who is the best gift giver) and I do birthdays not Christmas.

Though I have to say that this year I haven’t been feeling it, and some of that has to do with the issue Persnickety raised – the poor quality of receiving. That’s accentuated when we buy gifts for all the children in the family, and rarely get any thanks (or even acknowledgement that the gifts arrived as I post most overseas). I’ve never had anyone acknowledge the effort (and expense) we go to for their children, when we have none. Maybe they think it, but they’ve never actually said it.

19 Lindsay | Solo Mama { 12.15.14 at 3:37 pm }

Both, please! I’ve won quite a few blog giveaways, and they ALWAYS make my day/week. But I have also hosted giveaways on my other blog, and I really enjoy making someone happy.

20 Fran { 12.15.14 at 4:32 pm }

MMhhh yes probably I’d be happier to receive something, but in the case of a giveaway, as I never win anything, probably I would be just as happy to host the giveaway!!

21 torthuil { 12.15.14 at 5:24 pm }

I enjoy both, not sure really which one I like more! Although to be honest I almost wish we could skip the gift thing this Christmas. I usually enjoy it but this year both giving and receiving has me a bit stressed out. Giving because I don’t feel like I have the energy to put the same amount of thought into gifts because of the new baby. Receiving because I’m afraid of receiving presents that are not totally appropriate and having to deal with them and/or hurting the feelings of the giver….But realistically with a new baby there are going to be presents and that’s how it is, so I’m just dealing with it! I think to answer your question though, for this year at least I would rather give because I feel after the birth of our baby we’ve already received what is most important.

22 celeste noelani { 12.15.14 at 5:49 pm }

I would love to do a giveaway because then I could feel like a Santa without having to actually buy a present / spend money. That sounds so wrong, lol. Taking all the credit for someone else giving a present. Re-gifting at its finest!

23 queenjohnsonclan { 12.15.14 at 6:53 pm }

I love giving. I truly believe generosity is a gift within itself. That being said, If I got the opportunity to give away something I myself would like to have…I think I would be equally as pleased as if I won it myself. There is joy in both.

24 Jess { 12.15.14 at 6:55 pm }

Hmmm, tricky! I think I might like hosting, even though I like to get fun stuff, when holidays and birthdays come I get really excited to find the perfect something for other people. Just yesterday I was practically jumping up and down, giggling to my husband, “Your Christmas is going to be AWESOME!!!” And I’m with Fran, I never ever win anything, so it would be fun to have the joy of gifting someone else with a win. ๐Ÿ™‚

25 Laurel Regan { 12.15.14 at 7:12 pm }

I think it depends on the item. But honestly, I tend to be more the person who wants to win. Sad as that might be. ๐Ÿ™

26 a { 12.15.14 at 7:53 pm }

I would rather win a giveaway and give a gift. I like to get stuff, but when people who “know” me give me gifts, then I am forced to facewhat they think. Either I’m one-dimensional (I only like chocolate! Don’t get me wrong, I love chocolate. But that’s not actually my defining characteristic.) or they have no idea and buy me some random crap that I don’t need (magazine rack? Have you ever seen me read a magazine? I didn’t think so, because I rarely do. ) So, a giveaway, where I choose something I may want. All other times, giving, because I do try to put thought into things.

27 UmaS { 12.15.14 at 8:33 pm }

Right now I feel like winning something….just for that extra kick it’ll give me ๐Ÿ™‚

28 Junebug { 12.15.14 at 8:44 pm }

I like to give gifts the most. Receiving is nice but the joy on someone’s face is so memorable to me. Now if we were talking about winning the lottery… It might be different.

29 Geochick { 12.15.14 at 8:49 pm }

I don’t have an answer. :/ I love receiving gifts, but struggle with the I-have-too-many-things conundrum. I love to give gifts and make people happy, but right now, hosting a giveaway sounds like way too much work. Guess today I fall on the side of receiving.

p.s. I posted a picture of my lights!

30 Kimberly { 12.15.14 at 9:42 pm }

As much as I would want the gift, I never really know how to accept a gift. I never feel like I show enough gratitude and I don’t like being put on the spot and have everyone watch me. I like having everyone around to celebrate something with me, but the gifts are unnecessary. So while I like the attention of everyone hanging out with me when its something for me, I would still prefer to give a gift.

31 Stephanie (Travelcraft Journal) { 12.16.14 at 12:52 am }

Gonna have to say “win” honestly. Although picking out a really great gift for someone does make me giddy. ๐Ÿ™‚

PS Happy Chanukah!

32 Brid { 12.16.14 at 1:44 am }

Oh man! Give! I try so hard to get the perfect thing (no matter how small or whatever!) I can’t wait for Christmas to see the kids (nieces, nephews, and Jack) with the little things we think they’ll love, i.e. sparkly purple drumsticks for Georgia! We also do a benefit birthday for Jack; it’s huge and he often can’t wait to find out how much he’s raised each year for PREFER. His little friends at school always come back to ask how much they were able to send. They love it!! However, I’d love to win a lottery or somethingโ€ฆ more chairs and desks for PREFER! Happy season, Mel et alโ€ฆ!

33 earthandink { 12.16.14 at 11:27 am }

I would much rather host the give-away. In fact, some day, I hope to host great give-aways on my blog because it’s so freaking fun.

I will admit, there’s also the part that I am at a point in my life where I am thinking seriously about living in a small house. It may or may not happen, but I am behaving as though it will right now. So the idea of more stuff, even great stuff, is not my thing.

34 Tara { 12.16.14 at 1:26 pm }

That is a tough question. I like to think that I would prefer to give and know it made someone really happy but then when I think about it, I would love to receive something that made ME feel that happy!

35 Kasey { 12.16.14 at 5:29 pm }

Hmmm, as much as winning is fun I think I’d rather do the giving. I LOVE buying gifts at Christmas and without a budget go way overboard.

36 Lori Lavender Luz { 12.16.14 at 7:20 pm }

I’m guessing the commercials are aimed at the buyers — the givers.

I’m in the best of positions. I’m a receiver who is related to many givers.

37 emma { 12.17.14 at 2:36 pm }

I love receiving. If I were to host a giveaway on my blog I think I’d be a little jealous if I didn’t get something out of it too. I’m selfish.

I get so stressed out when it comes to gift giving. Especially this time of year because it seems like it’s expected of me. It’s one thing if I find something awesome that I know someone would love. In that case I love giving gifts. It’s another if I am told I need to give a gift to someone (which happens this time of year).

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