Representative image. Photograph:( Reuters )
Ideas of gifts are changing rapidly
The era of Archies gift shops was something. It was a one-stop shop for all gifts, greetings cards and what not. But just after the turn of the millenium and ahead, the popularity of such shops nosedived.
From engraving someone's name on a keychain being a huge thing, we have come to an era in which even a villager can get a photo printed on a mug and get it delivered to his home. And the ideas of gifts are changing as well.
Enter stock cards! These are gift cards for blue-chip stocks. Couples in South Korea are gifting them to each other. One investment bank has sold 20,000 'stock gift cards' in just five months. Another stock provider sold 3.4 million such cards in a matter of 20 days.
Who are buying these stocks? Mostly couples in their 20s and 30s. Which stock is their favourite? Tesla! Apple is close behind followed by Starbucks and Netflix.
A 23-year-old college student from South Korea gifted four stock cards to his girlfriend on her birthday. How did she react? The girlfriend first thought it was a scam.
Here's what her partner told a media house: "I didn't get beaten up by her, but she did say that I should increase the amount of cash I put into the gift card next time."
How much are these stocks priced at? A stock in Starbucks comes for as much as a latte. Couples who want to spend more can go for Apple stock gift card. They cost around 22 dollars. Then there are Testla stock cards for couples who can afford something a litte more expensive, with each stock selling at 26 dollars.
Believe it or not, the trend of gifting stocks may have something to do with Kim Kardashian. In 2017, she recieved Amazon, Apple, Disney and Netflix stock as Christmas gift. It was from her then-husband Kayne West.
The pair is now separated but their gestures have revolutionised gifting.
Leave alone stock gift cards, Who would have thought of stocks as gifts?
Most of us get confused when it comes to picking the perfect chocolate, or the right flowers. We were not always this spoilt for choice.
The history of gifting goes back to start of the civilisation. There were no cards, no ribbons, no wrapping papers then. Researchers say that back when we lived in caves, gifts were mostly unusual shaped rocks or animal teeth. They were exchanged to express one's love for another.
Time changed, and so did gifts.
Sometime between 605 BC and 562 BC, King Nebuchadnezzar II built the Hanging Garden of Babylon as a gift for his wife Queen Amytis.
In the 16th century, Queen of England Anne Boleyn had a fountain made as a gift for her husband King Henry VIII. They say the fountain was decorated with gold, rubies, pearls and silver.
In 2013, boxer Mike Tyson bought a 24-carat solid gold bathtub for his then-wife Robin Givens. It was a birthday gift worth $2 million.
In 2012, actor Angelina Jolie gifted her then-partner Brad Pitt a waterfall!
Planes and yachts are a common gift among the richie rich.
But what inspires these exorbitant gifting ideas? Researchers say, we humans use gifts to attract or retain mates. Even our nearest relatives the Chimpanzees often give gifts of food to females.
The global gifting market is worth $698 billion, according to a media startup, Bazinga.
It says India is expected to be one of the world's largest gifting markets by 2024. One estimate says India's gifting market is expected to cross $159 million by 2025. India is also home to the world's most famous emblem of love, the Taj Mahal. A gift in memory of Mumtaz Mahal, by her husband, the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. The Taj was completed in 1648.
It's been 373 years, and so much has changed. Even in middle of a pandemic, we can send customised cakes and gifts to our partners living thousands of miles away with just a click. What more? They are delivered within hours.
As a gesture of love, you can also name a star after your partner. People gift holidays, hand-made cookies, land, and luxuries.
The list is long.
And just in case you are still struggling to pick the right gift for your partner, you might want to keep stocks as an option!