1. Celebrate with … IOU-ing time: Gift a certificate to family or friends for 10 hours of doing an activity of their choice over the next year. If spending time with loved ones boosts happiness, it will be a welcome present that keeps on giving. Debt charity CCCS has a promise certificate that can be used for the IOU. Likewise, research shows that donating time rather than money to a community group can also be particularly rewarding – for the givers of time as well as the receivers.
2. Celebrate with … giving a little: Talk show queen Oprah Winfrey was on to something when she declared “every gift I’ve ever given has brought at least as much happiness to me as it has to the person I’ve given it to” back in 2006. There is evidence to suggest that people given cash feel better about spending it if they use it for others. So giving a little to charity could provide a festive season boost for givers as well as recipients.
3. Celebrate with … pretty paper: Wrapping a gift may actually encourage the recipient to like it more. It’s as if we are conditioned to be joyous when untying ribbons and peeling back wrapping paper because we associate unwrapping gifts with joy, argues well-regarded research conducted back in the 1990s.
4. Celebrate with … an eye out for drip pricing: There’s an extra charge for delivery, for paying by money card or other optional or compulsory extras. This so-called drip pricing makes it difficult to compare the true cost of items – so watch out, as many drips can turn into a financial mess.
If you like these tips, take a look at our first four tips and four more tips for the festive season.