Mt. Vernon Register-News

Features

December 19, 2012

Self-gifters increasingly stuff their own holiday stockings

(Continued)

In the midst of it all last Friday sat Kat and Greg Payne, a young couple from Logan, Utah. They were taking a break from "gift-shopping" in the free massage chairs on the second floor. So far Greg, a 23-year-old brine shrimp harvester had two new baseball caps and Kat, a 22-year-old nursing student, had a new shirt.

"I needed a new hat but bought two. We went in and the guy was so nice. If it's a good sale, might as well," he said.

This is typical of our rationalizing when we self-gift. "Or we'll say 'I'll look better for my husband,' or 'This will make me happier, or a better cook.' We say to ourselves: 'By treating myself, I'm really helping others,' " said Paco Underhill, who has been writing about behavioral research and shopping since the 1970s.

Changing demographics have also played a role in the growth in self-gifting. Young working women with jobs, for example, are more likely today to be single and childless, meaning they have the freedom and resources to shop for themselves. More Americans in general are single, which retail experts say means they are less likely to get the gifts they want if they don't buy them for themselves.

That can lead to dark territory.

At their core, Underhill said, holiday gifts are the ultimate tokens of our feelings, physical representations of what we want to say to other people. I like you. I'm scared of you. I want to know you better. And he believes that our transient, often single culture can be a lonely one. We self-gift in order to say things to ourselves that other people aren't saying.

"We're looking," he said, "for little signs of self-worth we used to get from someone else."

Text Only
Features
  • Hospitals let patients schedule ER visits

    Three times within a week, 34-year-old Michael Granillo went to the emergency room at Northridge Hospital Medical Center in Los Angeles because of intense back pain. Each time, Granillo, who didn't have insurance, stayed for less than an hour before leaving without being seen by a doctor.

    July 22, 2014

  • Wal-Mart to cut prices more aggressively in back-to-school push

    Wal-Mart Stores plans to cut prices more aggressively during this year's back-to-school season and will add inventory to its online store as the chain battles retailers for student spending.

    July 21, 2014

  • Your chocolate addiction is only going to get more expensive

    For nearly two years, cocoa prices have been on the rise. Finally, that's affecting the price you pay for a bar of chocolate - and there's reason to believe it's only the beginning.

    July 18, 2014

  • web_starbucks-cof_big_ce.jpg Starbucks sees more Apple-like stores after Colombia debut

    This week Starbucks opened its first location in Colombia — a 2,700-square-foot store with a heated patio, concrete columns, mirrors on the ceiling and walls of colorful plants.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-16 at 11.16.48 AM.png VIDEO: Comcast apologizes after customer service call goes viral

    Comcast issued an apology after one of its representatives kept a customer captive on the phone for nearly 20 minutes, demanding to know why he was choosing another cable provider.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20110929_bowling.jpg Why fewer people go bowling

    Like other industries facing tough economic times, America's bowling centers are trying to reinvent themselves.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Almost half of the world actually prefers instant coffee

    Americans' taste in coffee might be getting more high-end _with a growing fixation on perfectly roasted beans, pricier caffeinated concoctions, and artisan coffee brewers - but it turns out a surprisingly big part of the world is going in the opposite direction: toward instant coffee.

    July 14, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-09 at 11.24.10 AM.png VIDEO: Pilot buys pizzas for storm-delayed travelers

    A Frontier Airlines pilot went above and beyond the call of duty when a recent flight from Washington, D.C. to Denver was diverted to Cheyenne, Wyoming due to bad weather.

    July 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-08 at 11.46.13 AM.png VIDEO: Foiled beach gear theft goes viral

    Video capturing a bizarre confrontation with two women allegedly attempting to steal beach gear on a Florida beach has gone viral.

    July 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Nation's first soda tax could come to Berkeley

    The Berkeley City Council unanimously decided last week to put the 1-cent-per-ounce tax on the ballot this November. Approving the tax would mean a major defeat for the soda industry, which has spent millions to crush the effort nationwide.

    July 10, 2014

Twitter Updates
Facebook
Stocks