Two weeks from today is a VERY big day in the gift world.  That's because 14 days from now is December 26th, the day AFTER Christmas.  Why is that such a big deal?  If you screw up and get that special someone on your list the wrong thing, it WILL be going back to the store two weeks from today!

So what's your strategy when it comes to gift giving? Do you simply go with the list someone gives you or do you try to do a little detective work and figure out what they want by sneaking around and doing some research?

Which one makes you feel better?  The one you did all on your own right? Of course it does, but it may have the exact opposite effect on your gift's recipient.

A new study says thoughtful gifts don't necessarily lead to greater appreciation. Instead, it's the giver who actually benefits, getting a feeling of closeness to the other person, the study found. Similar research last year found that people are actually more appreciative when they receive a gift they have explicitly requested.

According to the co-author of the University of Chicago study:

It turns out it's not the thought that counts, it's the gift that counts.

When in doubt, remember one simple thing: give the people what they want.