Nathalie Jonsson

Science Writer 

The Science Of Unwanted Gifts


This Christmas I have been absolutely worthless at telling my family what I want. Not sure I want anything really. I don’t want stuff, since storage and living space is the most expensive part of living in London. I would also have to travel from Stockholm back to London with anything I receive over the Christmas holidays; so yeah, heavy glassware would not be convenient. I have agreed to get two pairs of jeans in London. Like it was any other week.

According to the anthropologist Dr. Gary Chapman there are five expressions of love. Words of affirmation, acts of service, quality time, receiving gifts and physical touch are all cornerstones to loving someone. Christmas is an opportunity to cover them all, but none is as difficult as the gifts.

On the other hand, maybe it is best to disregard any anxiety concerning what gifts you should get. It is worth preparing to just smile and accept whatever gifts you get. Maybe it does not matter what you get in the end. In fact, as you grow older you will become better at showing a positive response to any gift. Even to gifts you don’t want. Also, if your mother is present you will show a better response to gifts, even those that should be disappointing.

So. Conclusion? Being close to 30 years old and in the presence of my family, I should be able to appreciate most things.

Merry Christmas!

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