With Christmas fast approaching you may feel as if your ‘to buy for’ list keeps getting longer; and that finding the right gift for everyone can be a challenging task. Our friends at Activity Superstore have released an interesting article on the psychology and history behind gift giving. It looks at how the gifts we choose and the way in which we present them communicates so much about us, our feelings towards the receiver, and the complex social structures within our community.
Why do we give gifts?
Key life events and celebrations such as Christmas, birthdays, weddings or anniversaries stand out as the occasions when we feel most compelled to give gifts. However, there are other underlying reasons for why we might choose to do so.
To build relationships
Presenting a gift to another individual can establish or reinforce relationships. According to French sociologist Marcel Mauss, the act of not gifting or rejecting a gift communicates the dismissal of a relationship.
A way of showing love and commitment
Gifts are used to communicate the feelings someone has towards another person. A great example of this is when a man offers flowers to their partners as they are traditionally thought to symbolise feelings of love.
Ever heard the saying ‘it’s the thought that counts’? Opening a gift may fill you with happiness, or even disappointed if it wasn’t quite what you would’ve wanted, nonetheless; receiving a present makes you feel something. This is because we attach symbolic meaning to the gifts we give and receive.
To receive something in return
In today’s notion of gifting, there’s often an expectation that this offering will be repaid by receiving something in return. However, it’s essential to get this bit right, as gifting too much or too little can cause embarrassment or hurt feelings.
To help others
On the other hand, we give presents with the knowledge that this gesture won’t be reciprocated, such as to children or our pets. Appreciation for the recipient is the biggest motivator in this type of selfless gifting. Another example of this would be donating to charity, which gives us the feel-good factor.
To find a mate
Animals such as Chimpanzees are known to give gifts as part of the mating ritual, and humans are not much different. A study found that males who gift more generously have a higher success rate of attracting mates compared to females who are more likely to buy gifts for family and friends.
Still not sure what to buy your significant other? Use the gift matrix below to help you make the final decision.
Wedding flowers are one of the most important elements of planning your special day. So how do you select the florist who will provide the flowers for your wedding? What questions should you ask?
Here are our tips:
1. Tell the florist about your venue, the number of guests, the general style you want to create, and your ideas about the decor and colour. If you are like most brides and have collected wedding magazines, show them pictures of previous weddings and floristry taken from these magazines.
2. Ask to see a photo portfolio of the florist’s previous work.
3. Inform the florist your budget – they can then advise you on the best way of meeting your needs.
4. Tell them – how many guests / tables, how many bridesmaids, ushers etc
5. The florist should visit the venue with you at least once.
6. Ask the florist :
a) How many weddings / events they will have on the same day as your big day
b) What flowers will be in season
c) Are there any additional costs – delivery, installation, collection, etc?
d) Can the florist supply candelabras, vases, urns etc or do you need to source these items myself?
Make sure the florist is receptive to your ideas, and that you feel comfortable with them. Remember you are trusting them with one of the most important days of your life!
Giving flowers in the form of beautiful hand tied bouquets is a wonderful gesture, but a further dimension is added if you understand a little about the language of flowers.
Different flowers have conveyed different meanings in many cultures throughout the world, throughout history. The ancient Greeks, the Persians, the Turks, the Chinese and the Indians all developed their own languages of flowers.
The idea became widespread in England in Elizabethan times, and became highly sophisticated by the beginning of the nineteenth century. Not only did individual flowers have their own meaning, but their position when worn was very important as well. For example, marigolds worn on the breast conveyed indifference, while marigolds worn in the hair expressed anguish.
This tradition seems rather quaint in these modern days of text messaging, facebook, youtube and twitter, but it can be fun to send coded messages in the flower bouquets you send to your loved ones
Here are a few flowers with the meanings explained –Calla lily flower – magnificent beauty
Carnation flower, Pink – a woman’s love for a man
Forget me not flower - true love
Freesia flower – friendship
Lilac flower– first feelings of love
Hyacinth flower, blue - constancy
Hyacinth flower, white – unobtrusive loveliness
Orchid – beauty and elegance
Lily of the valley flowers – happiness
Peony flowers – shyness
Mimosa flowers – secret love
Solidago flowers – hope
Sunflowers – adulation
Veronica flowers – faithfullnes, fidelity
Oriental lily flowers – purity
Orange blossom flowers – your purity is equaled by your loveliness
Tuberose flowers – dangerous pleasure
Gladioli flowers – strength of character
Ranunculus flowers – you are rich in attractions
Bird of Paradise - symbolises excitement and joyfulness
Amaryllis - splendid beauty
Anthurium - hospitality
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The Home of Exquisite Flowers
Welcome to our new online flower boutique.
Shop our latest flower collections, including our new and stunning flower hat boxes, bouquets and rose gifts. For an extra special treat, why not add a bottle of champagne, chocolates, a hamper or a candle?
We want to make sending flowers and gifts a simple and pleasant experience. If you have any problems, our friendly team are always available to talk to by phone or email. We want all of our customers to leave feeling happy!