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Gift giving, especially during the holiday season, has long been a favorite subject of study of human behavior, with economists, financial analysts, psychologists, anthropologists and retailers all weighing in on the results. Each group has its own reason for much interest in people’s feelings and gift-giving behavior. They have found that giving gifts is a surprisingly complex and important part of human interaction, helping to define relationships and strengthen bonds with family and friends. Indeed, psychologists say it is often the giver, rather than the recipient, who reaps the biggest psychological gains from a gift. A group of 10000 people across all age groups were asked to comment during the 2015 holiday season – pre and post holidays,to comment on how they felt about giving and receiving gifts. Out of the 7340 people who responded, there was a clear winner and a distinction between the top two gifts and the rest. Three out of four who responded agreed that the holiday season is getting more stressful and materialistic. So here are winners:
28% of respondents expressed spending time with their friends and family as the best gift they could get for holidays.  It’s a fact that most Americans are feeling more time-constrained than ever. With waking hours largely consumed by work, precious minutes remain for the daily list of to-dos, including exercise, housework, and keeping up with social media. For most, time has become an even more valuable resource than money. Indeed, twice as many Americans would prefer two weeks of vacation over two weeks of extra pay. People’s sense that time is scarce decreases their willingness to give time to others — be it individuals or worthy organizations. So, when somebody is willing to donate his/her time, that is considered as the best and lasting gift by all segments of respondents.
26% of respondents wanted gifts that will help them grow professionally and personally. It is a broad area and covers activities that improve awareness and identity, develop talents and potential, build human capital and facilitate employability, enhance the quality of life and contribute to the realization of dreams and aspirations. 
Wall Street Journal reports that 70% of people are living paycheck to paycheck and financial stress is at its highest. It is no surprise that learning more about finances and having a financial coach is highly desirable. If you would like to know about how to provide a gift of financial coaching to your loved ones, please contact Mayanah Financial Coaching at
The list was followed by Gift Cards (10%), electronic gadgets (8%), toys (7%) and household goods (5%). With research so conclusive about what people need, will you provide what they need – Time and Personal Growth or will you end up giving more “stuff” that they don’t need.

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