Apparently the more elaborate the wrapping, the higher the expectations — and if you're giving a little something simple, you maybe shouldn't wrap it at all. You bet your bows and ribbons Yale University's Center for Customer Insights did a study on this!
Marketing professor Nathan Novemsky ran tests, in which people were given presents. Researchers monitored how folks reacted to the same gift — depending on how it was wrapped. Novemsky says, "If you wrap a gift, you raised peoples' expectations and the liking of the same gift goes down. If you wrap a gift that, you know, is really just meant to be a little something, it might behoove you not to wrap it — or if you are going to wrap it, to not wrap it so nicely."
Because you can imagine that — especially as a gift that's wrapped sits under the Christmas tree for, you know, days or weeks, for example — you start to imagine what's in there and you get pretty expectations. And when Christmas finally comes or the time comes to finally open that wrapping, you're imagining something great. Where as if I just say, "Here is something for you" and hand you something that you can immediately see, there's no chance for those expectations to creep up.
Basically, if you're elaborately wrapping shitty gifts, you're an asshole. Merry Christmas!
Nicely Wrapped Gifts Heighten Expectations [Marketplace]