"I already put it in my Amazon cart, all you have to do is click 'submit.'"
So, for most of us, when it comes to the people closest to us, we want to surprise them.
We'll search high and low for the perfect gift -- one that proves just how well we know them. It takes a hundred times more effort, but so be it. Those are the gifts that people really treasure. Right?
But Actually ...
It turns out that -- surprise! -- people don't like surprises as much as we think they do.
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Especially when they find out the cake you just jumped out of isn't actually edible.
Professors from Harvard and Stanford ran a series of experiments on gift-giving -- five of them, to be exact, because apparently that's all researchers are busy with these days (suck it, cancer!). What they found each time was that recipients generally just wanted to get the gift they explicitly asked for, and get this: The receivers actually perceived such explicitly-asked-for gifts as "more thoughtful and considerate" than the special surprise gifts the givers spent so much time trying to hunt down. The gift-giving motto is apparently "Don't think. Just do as commanded," a phrase you typically don't see spelled out on festive holiday sweaters.