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Practical Gifts vs. Inspirational Gifts: Weighing Them Out

Oh, practical gifts. We love you. Nothing says happy anniversary like an iron. Or maybe it actually does?

When it comes to gift giving, is it ever okay to give a practical gift? And when is a sentimental or inspirational gift the way to go? We’ll help you decide.

When is it okay to give a practical gift?

We’ve all seen that sitcom episode where the husband makes the mistake of buying his wife a blender for an anniversary gift—and, obviously, hilarity ensues. But is it really so wrong to give such a practical gift? Turns out, not really. We even have research to back us up.

Frank Flynn, Stanford University professor, studied what makes a gift good to give and receive. He found that it lies somewhere between the perceived value of the gift, as determined by both the giver and the receiver. If the recipient really wants a gift certificate for house cleaning services and you give them a certificate for a spa day instead—which they will never have time to use, what with all the house cleaning they’ll be doing—then your gift is a miss. But if you give them a case of ramen noodles because that’s their favorite food in the world, then it’s a hit.

As givers, if we take ourselves out of the picture and instead imagine how the receiver will use the gift, we might come closer to giving them something they really want. So, if you are looking for anniversary gifts for him—go ahead and get him that tool or grill gadget he really wants.

When should I go with an inspirational gift? 

There are some occasions where sentimental is the rule and your heart makes your decisions for you. Consider the same example, as above, with your anniversary. He may have a practical gift on his mind, but surprising him with the romantic gift of a heartfelt love letter will be an unexpected surprise he will cherish more than any vice grip or meat tenderizer.

Giving anniversary gifts for your long distance boyfriend or girlfriend certainly calls for a gift on the emotional side. You want to express your love and devotion that even a million-piece toolset could never convey. You can never go wrong by giving your long distance love a sentimental gift that reminds them of the good times you’ve had together and lets them know how much they are missed.

For sentimental and inspirational gift giving ideas for your anniversary, long distance relationship, or any occasion, visit KindNotes. KindNotes is the gift of personalized notes in decorative cardstock envelopes, artfully arranged in an artisan-quality glass jar—perfect for gift-giving for any occasion. You can choose from our Completed Sets with our best-selling messages or Ready-made Sets and select your favorite messages from our library.



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