Americans buy over $16 billion worth of gifts a year! In comparison, proportionally, the same number of people in Europe spend half as much money on presents. There are many reasons for this – from cultural to economic and current news. To the question – what to give an American man? — we will answer in detail below, taking into account cultural differences compared to gifts customary in other countries.
But for the most impatient, let’s start with a life hack. Due to the many military conflicts in the world, in which it is crystal clear which side the good guys fight on, it has become a trend to give each other military-themed presents. This is how people show their moral support for the good guys. This is also why our consultant from the GalaXate online store recommends, as a gift, to buy army veteran t-shirt.
Introduction: a gift – what is it?
This seemingly simple question – what is a present? — takes the respondents deeply into history, psychology, and social sciences. The most common answer is that a gift is a sign of appreciation, respect, or love for the recipient. There is no doubt this answer is the correct one. But there is one factor in the presents, although less noticeable, but no less significant.
Imagine for a second that there was a tradition of giving gifts to your enemies; what would you give your worst enemy? Our consultant friends from various stores suggest that these would be symbols with which the givers demonstrated their superiority over the recipients. And for this, donors would spend no less money than to show their love towards relatives and friends. Thus, the answer to the question about the nature of the gift is derived – it is a way of emotional support or mental suppression of the recipient.
What are presents given in different countries?
Our sociological surveys on the topic of which nationalities give which gifts revealed the following patterns (which do not claim to be representative).
- In the countries of the European Union, people give each other, in most cases, symbolic or romantic presents, such as souvenirs, flowers, and soft toys. Men are given inexpensive, practical grants – scarves, sweaters, or alcoholic drinks, but in the case of especially close relationships – accessories, men’s cosmetics, rarities, or works of art.
- In Asian countries, people give status grants to each other. Depending on the social relationship between the giver and the recipient – based on the logic of “boss-subordinate” – the second gives the first complimentary gifts (often pricier than he can afford), for example, old books, historical weapons, while the first presents the second practical presents – vegetables, fruits, or clothes. In Asia, men rarely provide grants to each other, and women usually give them clothes or accessories.
- In India, people give each other gifts that, in the terminology of Western countries, can be called sincere – without exaggerating their abilities. Young people exchange presents made of Indian textiles, the mature generation — ayurvedic products or souvenirs, while the older generation exchanges spices, essential oils, and inexpensive jewelry.
- In Russia, men are given alcoholic drinks – this is an unmistakably grant, regardless of the giver’s and recipient’s social status. And also, when they don’t know what to give, they give each other books in Russia. On holidays, women are also unmistakably given flowers and sweets, men – weapons or accessories, and on special occasions — paintings.
What to give an American?
Gifts in the United States play a unique role as a connecting thread along society’s horizontal and vertical lines. With the help of a grant, the giver demonstrates his emotional attitude towards the recipient. And here, it is not the value of the meaningful gift, but its context. So with the help of presents in the United States, people make fun of each other, which is not allowed in Asian countries. Based on the experience of our partners from GalaXate, Americans give each other generous presents – from expensive cigars to branded clothes. The cultural peculiarity of the United States in the context of contributions also allows not giving anything if people dislike each other, which a subordinate cannot afford with a boss in China or Russia.
Another feature of gifts in the USA is that they are obligatory. The point is that by accepting a present in America, you now undertake to reciprocate the giver. At the same time, in Asian countries, it is taken for granted to get gifts without mutual obligation. That is why presents are so popular in the countries of Western civilization – they oblige the recipient to interchange, which shops use shamelessly. Fortunately, you can always refuse the imposed reciprocity under the guise of such a gift.
List of the ten most popular men’s presents in the US (according to GalaXate):
- Toys (cars, planes, helicopters, drones, and robotic vehicles) with remote control.
- Certificates for online courses on personal and professional growth.
- Radio and speakers for the bathroom or gym.
- Game console.
- Paintball weapons and ammunition.
- Smart gadgets – watches, vacuum cleaners, and other Internet things for a smart home.
- Accessories and cosmetics for the car.
- Antique edged or firearms.
- Books on the theme of military strategy.
The gift industry in the United States is so developed that it is easy to choose a present. The difficulty in picking a gift is different – to stand out, but at the same time, the giver needs to stay in trend. When choosing gift for a man, it is customary in the United States to give presents that reflect current social, economic, or political events and those associated with the recipient’s professional or amateur activities.
Because the Ghost of War walks no longer only through Europe, it has become fashionable in the United States to give gifts decorated in military style. Everything can be dyed in an army print, whether it’s a doormat, doggie rug, briefcase, or underwear. A military-style grant is also a tribute to the men and women who have done a high duty to the country, protecting its interests in the hottest global spots. This is America, baby.
As a summary
A gift is always a symbol: in some countries, this value matters; in others, it’s semantic load. But in any tradition and culture, a present means a special relationship between the giver and the recipient. So, in the USA, you can give an inexpensive pendant, but if this one has the shape of a heart, then for the recipient – the wife of a military man – such a gift becomes priceless. So if you want to impress an American man unmistakably, give him a flag. Against the backdrop of current military events, the recipient of the American flag is guaranteed to feel he belongs to a great country.
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