It’s hard to believe it’s November, as the time-warp existence of WFH and a raging pandemic the last few years have really left their mark. But alas, it is November, and with it comes the mad sprint to New Years Eve and the turn of the calendar to 2022. Of course there are two monolith holiday moments to think about in between -- Thanksgiving and Holiday.
The team at The Quality Edit has been working hard to bring together a Holiday season campaign we’re very proud of, and you’ll start to see some of that handiwork roll out this week across our site. As all expert gift wrappers do, we searched for the perfect bow to tie everything together, making sense of a Holiday season in the context of the last few years of -- well -- darkness. Thankfully we’re starting to see the light again, making travel plans and seeing loved ones that this time last year was unrealistic. And one word continued to proliferate across our team Slack -- that the Joy of the Holiday season is back in full force.
And so with that, we’re thrilled to welcome you all to our campaign for this year’s revelry: The Joy of Gifting. Inspired by the 70s and 80s vibes of the Joy of Sex and Joy of Painting (if you haven’t watched the Bob Ross doc -- add it to your queue), we wanted to dig deeper into that fuzzy feeling you get when the perfectly executed gift makes its way to its recipient. We’d argue that feeling is perhaps even stronger for the giver than receiver.
The Happiness Trifecta
Luckily there’s some science to back up that hypothesis. Psychology researchers have observed that when a person gives of themselves -- via a gift or their time -- a combination of the ‘Happy’ neurochemical drivers, namely Dopamine, Serotonin, and Oxytocin, see increased production and cause a boost in mood. Below is a quick primer on each for you neuroscience nerds:
Dopamine is an important part of the brain’s pleasure and reward system, a process that drives your motivation, desire, and cravings. It is famously addictive, released either when you receive a reward or strive to achieve it.
Serotonin is the key mood-stabilizer -- this social chemical promotes confidence, self-esteem, and feelings of wellbeing. It nurtures a sense of common bond between people. Some key ways to activate its release are exercise, massage, sunlight, and remembering happy events.
Affectionately called the “love hormone,” oxytocin promotes trust, empathy, and bonding in relationships. It is most often triggered by physical closeness.
Essentially, the social exchange inherent in giving or receiving a great gift can give you the same warm and happy vibes as cuddling, kissing, or sex. Scientists call the trio of brain chemicals the Happiness Trifecta
Essentially, the social exchange inherent in giving or receiving a great gift can give you the same warm and happy vibes as cuddling, kissing, or sex. Scientists call the trio of brain chemicals the Happiness Trifecta, and if a DTC brand could find a way to bottle this concoction it’d be a runaway success. Alas, we’ve yet to see such a brand launch (but when it does, trust we’ll cover it in our Launch Digest).
What Makes a Perfect Gift?
At its core, gifting is a tradition that necessitates understanding. Most of our favorite gifts are those that imply a level of familiarity -- a realization that someone knows you well enough to anticipate what you want and need, and has gone to the effort of materializing it for you.
Perhaps it’s a luxurious pillow for a sister who always complains about poor sleep, or a fitness tracker for the dad newly motivated to exercise (and talking about it all the time!). Maybe you’ve had your eye on a sentimental set of prints for your girlfriend, depicting the locations of special moments and travels throughout your relationship. The perfect gift is not only a checkbox, a receipt within the budget, but rather the material marker of your capacity to listen and anticipate those you cherish most around you.
Hopefully this is all feeling more empowering than intimidating. If it's the latter, though, you’re in good hands.
Our team of editors has been hard at work scouring the DTC brand lexicon to help curate the best of the best of this year’s holiday gifting ideas. We’ll be taking you through a smörgåsbord of Gift Guides of all persuasions in the coming weeks, covering nearly all the bases (and then some). And in December, we’ll roll out our first ever Joy of Gifting: Gift of the Day countdown spotlighting our top 11 gift ideas this holiday.
We’ll be taking you through a smörgåsbord of Gift Guides of all persuasions in the coming weeks, covering nearly all the bases (and then some). And in December, we’ll roll out our first ever Joy of Gifting: Gift of the Day countdown spotlighting our top 11 gift ideas this holiday.
Let’s face it: these past couple of years have rendered us depleted. As opportunities for physical affection have been both sparse and risky, gift-giving was a wonderful way to achieve intimacy and closeness from a distance. And don’t worry: this does not have to be disastrous for your bank account. In this arena, the old cliche still rings true: it’s the thought that counts.
Taking time to consider someone else’s wants, tastes, or needs, is a deeply fulfilling practice that will give each party that warm dose of Joy that’s been hard to come by. This holiday season, let’s make up for the hugs we haven’t been able to give. And if you do get stumped, your TQE Editors are here to help. You can take all the credit ;)