In-spa-rational gifts for mum and all the family
In these austere times, a girl could be forgiven for thinking that absolutely no one has money to spend on life’s little luxuries. Indeed as belts tighten across Britain, you might assume that expenditure on items which could be viewed as luxuries – such as spa visits and beauty treatments – would be low on the priority list.
And yet, the spa market does not seem to be experiencing the same doom, gloom and despondency as many other industries – and experts reckon it’s partly because of our natural human instinct to want to look after our loved ones and show them how much we care about them, no matter what financial conditions prevail.
In other words, it would appear that we’re prepared to keep treating our family and friends to the finer things in life, even when we’re facing doing without them ourselves.
Certainly when it comes to birthday gifts for mum, a meal out for a special anniversary or spa vouchers for a good friend who’s been through a tough time, the milk of human kindness still prevails, and we simply forego that new skirt or pair of shoes (which we probably didn’t need anyway, truth be told).
So, why do we do it? What is it that hushes that selfish little voice in our heads whispering “me, me, me” and encourages us to buy a gift for someone else instead?
According to anthropologists, economists and marketers, who are queuing up to contribute to the debate, giving gifts is an extremely complex, important part of human interaction. They believe it helps to define our relationships and strengthen our bonds with family and friends.
Interestingly, psychologists also believe that the giver, rather than the receiver, is the person who actually gains more psychologically from a gift. Which sounds like the perfect reason for treating friends and family on a regular basis!