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10 Gob-Smacking Gift Facts

Gifts are one of the best things about having friends - and there are some amazing things about them that you never knew!!!

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Beano Facts Team
Last Updated:  November 16th 2023

Gifts! We love giving them, and we love to get them, too! There are a few interesting things about gifts and gift giving that you probably never knew - read on for some fascinating facts about gifts that will take you on a learning journey about culture, gender, and animals! And stay for some more fun facts with us - learn all about ferrets, the ocean, black cats, and chemistry!

1. Women give more gifts

Yep, apparently women give more gifts! They also tend to be better at selecting gifts. It's a bit of a generalisation, but women are often better at understanding the needs and wants of people they know, and so they're better at picking out perfect presents for their loved ones!

2. Most gifts are given in the Christmas season

This probably isn't a surprise, but it's true! While birthdays are scattered out all over the year, most people will be buying gifts in wintertime. Even if they don't celebrate Christmas, lots of other religious festivals take place around this time that also celebrate exchanging gifts.

3. Japan has some interesting traditions!

In Japan, it's polite to give gifts using both hands! It's also polite to wait until the person who gave you the gift has left before you open it, and polite to refuse the gift at first before accepting it!

4. Cats like to give gifts

If you've ever owned a cat, you'll know that they like to bring you little presents of dead animals they've caught. It's thought that they do this because they're trying to teach their owners how to hunt - they do something similar with their kittens. So, the next time your cat presents you with a dead mouse, know that they're just trying to help you!

5. Chimpanzees give gifts, too!

A study of chimpanzees found that they like to give each other food as a show of goodwill. Male chimps give female chimps food to show that they're serious about becoming partners, and it's also thought that they give gifts to improve trust and goodwill too!

6. Wrapping is important

Generally people prefer gifts that are wrapped, as opposed to gifts that haven't been wrapped - and the best colour to wrap a gift in is red! This may be more to do with the most gifts being given at Christmas, but red is the most popular shade of gift wrap!

7. Gifts are very important in Māori culture

The Māori are the indigenous people of New Zealand, and gift-giving has a special importance in their culture! Gifts include a part of the giver's spirit, and so they should be followed by an act of giving from the person who received.

8. There are a few things you shouldn't give in China

If you're giving a present to a Chinese friend, there are a few things that you should avoid! Clocks, handkerchiefs and straw sandals are all associated with death, and umbrellas and pears mean that you want a relationship to end! Green hats are also a no-no, because they're thought to signify that a wife has been unfaithful. It's not quite clear why, though it might come from an old story about a clothmaker, or it might come from Chinese soldiers wearing green hats. Either way, it's a good idea to not give one!

9. Flowers are a good gift, but be careful

If you're giving flowers to a Russian friend, only give them an odd number of flowers - even-numbered flowers are for funerals! Flowers also have a lot of meanings, too. They're usually used to show romantic interest, and the Victorians had a whole language around flowers! Red roses meant true love, while yellow roses represented friendship. Yellow carnations meant disdain and rejection!

10. A good gift is not necessarily the most expensive gift!

According to research the best gift you can give anyone is something they really want - around 50% of gifts are not appreciated by the recipient. So, to be a great gift giver, listen to your loved ones, and just ask what they want! For example, someone who loves books would like a book they're interested in WAY more than fancy jewellery! But remember, any gift from a loved one is a thing to be treasured - the real gift is that they thought of you!