Replace “Resting Gift Face” with “Grateful Happy Face”

Most of us yearn for the sublime second stanza of John Lennon’s “So This is Christmas” when we prepare for the holidays, in that we merely hope to come together and have fun, with “…the near and the dear ones, the old and the young”. Certainly no one, after spending time and hard-earned money attempting to fulfill holiday wish-lists, wants to see “resting gift face” (RGF) shadow the brow of a loved-one after they open a present. But once American Thanksgiving passes, “Holiday 2016″ will be in full swing and hence the countdown to exactly that moment in households across North America.

What we have discovered over the last year, is that although our site and tools were built to help parents teach their kids to think before they buy, it turns out they can help anyone. And one of the things they can help anyone avoid, is not only gift waste, but RGF, the awkward grimace that arises when one attempts to mask their disappointment at receiving a gift they are unlikely to use or appreciate. So even if you have no interest at all in improving youth financial literacy, it turns out encouraging people to “thoughtfully prefer” what they might like to receive, can still be a smart thing to do.

While our mission is to immunize children against developing poor spending habits and all of the downstream issues those can create later in life, it turns out that our tested-tools can also help prevent RGF (resting gift face). While only a humorous description of the expression worn by the underwhelmed, RGF has been known to throw a wrench into many a holiday celebration – so if you can avoid it – why not?

When children big and small “thoughtfully prefer” wish-list items by completing Gift Surveys, all it means is that they have taken a couple of minutes to answer a few questions; but answering those questions helps them understand the full value of what they are requesting, and how much it will really be used and appreciated. The answers also generate a DIMS (Does It Make Sense) Score; a number from 1-10 which helps telegraph if a request is more of a need or a want. This helps people not only thoughtfully prefer, but also thoughtfully purchase gifts. For example, far-flung grandparents might perceive costly basketball shoes as a want but when they learn that their granddaughter would wear the shoes to practices and games fours times a week for six months of the year, they can begin to see that they are really more of a need, and a much wiser use of holiday-gift-giving-dollars than a sweater that may never be worn.

All of this is why we like to say that Gift Surveys and DIMS SCOREs not only help everyone save time and money, they not only deliver some quick but meaningful financial literacy to children, but they actually help replace RGF (resting gift face) with GHF (grateful happy face), the one that can’t help but beam out from receiving a much-hoped-for-item, one that really will be used and appreciated.

Some of us are lucky. We’ve been married long enough to have developed an understanding with our spouses – one that lets us choose, wrap, and then unwrap in front of the children exactly what we will use and appreciate the most over the coming year. Some of us are lucky in that we know our grandchildren, nieces and nephews so incredibly well, we can easily choose gifts for them that aren’t destined to be transformed into a) stored value cards after being returned; b) re-gifts after spending the required holding period on a laundry room shelf; or c) donations to charities that would far rather receive option a) above. Some of us are lucky in that we have the kind of relationship with extended family members that allows us to easily convene and crowd-source one larger more meaningful gift when it generates an excellent DIMS SCORE, but just costs too much for one person to buy. But not all of us are lucky, and for those of you who worry that you might have to either witness, or fend off RGF, who not consider introducing Gifting Sense into your gift giving traditions?

We really just want to make the people we care about feel known and cherished when we buy them a gift. So what could be more thoughtful than asking our loved ones for some guidance? It lets us get to know them even better, their tastes, hobbies and preferences. It prevents us from wasting time and money buying under appreciated items. It can ensure that no one will have to spend any time exchanging or returning gifts, and it can even smooth the way for the happiest of holidays yet, one completely free of RGF! To learn how, click on the pink or green buttons below.

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