This is not going to be your usual gift guide, ok? When our team huddled together to talk through what we wanted to highlight this year, there just wasn’t enough substance. I mean, we spoke about predictable things like a red cashmere hat; sure, it’s easily gift-able: it’s soft, a good color and wraps up nicely. But then what? Personally speaking, I realized what I love about that red hat goes way beyond the stitching. I didn’t mean to derail our brainstorm, but I attach much deeper meaning to that hat and I wanted to know “why?” I scoured the internet in search of articles or philosophies to uncover “do we, as a general rule, attach meaning to objects and why?” In the Scientific American, I found a study where children were asked to bring in objects that meant something to them, a t-shirt that their grandmother had given them, their favorite stuffed rabbit, for example. The children engaged in simple computer games that had pre-engineered outcomes for the purpose of the study. After winning or losing, they were asked if they would share their identified sentimental item with another participant. Overwhelmingly, those who won their games were twice as likely to share their most treasured belongings. Conversely, the same exercise was completed with a control group of children who were provided items at random—with no deeper attachment—to potentially share. Results here concluded that the children were neither more nor less likely to share based on the outcome of winning or losing their game. Interesting. When an item personally means something to you, you are more apt to share it with others when you feel confident or happy.
Hours spent down this rabbit hole and it turns out there are numerous studies about how certain items comfort us, boost our confidence, and importantly why we often see these pieces as an extension of ourselves.
This got me thinking: what do these gifted items mean to our team members? What sort of attachments have we formed and for what reasons? If I am giving the aforementioned red hat to a friend, when is it about more than just a red hat? More than just a tool to contain body heat, albeit in a very chic way?
And with that premise, our team began fondly exchanging memories and associations with the pieces we hold dearest. And we wrote about them, by hand, because these personal experiences seemed to require pen to paper, not fingers to key board. I hope you enjoy our stories; you may relate or you may simply find them amusing, but undoubtedly you will agree, a gift is much more than just a gift.
Founder and Creative Director