Last year, the Telegraph reported that the formula has finally been devised to determine the perfect holiday gift! According to Professor of Psychology Karen Pine, of the University of Hertfordshire, the problem can be solved with the equation (L x 2) + O + E2 – PD + EM = PP.
The elements to consider in the equation are Listening, Observation, Effort, Personal Desire, Empathy, and Perfect Present; Professor Pine advises gift-givers to double down on Effort and Listening, and beware of Personal Desire (one’s own desire to possess an item that we are considering as a gift). Which is to say: don’t be distracted by your own childhood desire for a Barbie doll if your niece has made it very clear that she would prefer a toy truck.
It’s all good advice, but it sounds like a bit of a nightmare to go to these lengths for every person on your holiday shopping list, doesn’t it? (And I don’t know about you, but I’m a little rusty on math these days.) So I’d suggest that you do it the easy way instead: just come to any Magic Beans store or browse mbeans.com, and let us do the work!
Here are some of your options for getting the job done:
- In-store customer service: All of our stores are staffed by highly-trained Toy Whizzes, who know our selection inside-out and are thoroughly versed in what kids like at every age (we do our research on child development, of course). Unless we’re totally swamped, a friendly Whiz in a green teeshirt or festive holiday apron will probably come and ask you if you need help before you even have a chance to ask, and once you’ve found what you need, we’ll wrap your presents for free!
- Free consultation: Got a mega-list of kids to shop for, and limited time? Book a FREE consultation, and you’ll get a dedicated staff member to walk you through your list, check it twice, and find something for every kid (all of whom we’re assuming were not naughty, but rather nice). It’s a great way to make sure that when the (free) wrapping paper comes off, you get rewarded with big smiles – there’s nothing sadder than a Christmas present that’s met with indifference, right? Plus: you can do your consultation in person, on the phone, via live chat, or even by video chat. Whatever works for you, we’ll make it work!
- Live chat: During business hours, we’ve always got someone online and ready to help – just click on “chat” in the green box to open the window. The same cheerful toy experts you find in our stores are waiting to talk to you!
- Call or email us: For mbeans.com customer service, you can call 866-600-2326 Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm or call any store during business hours. Or, fill out one of the contact forms linked here – if something is really wrong (or really right) and you email the owners of the company, you WILL get an answer! They’re incredibly hands-on.
Speaking of the owners of Magic Beans: to tell you more about our customer service philosophy, here’s Eli!
Finally: for super-speedy gift shopping, we’ve composed a Holiday Gift Guide with our top picks for all ages, divided into handy categories (some of which have already been delineated in more detail right here at Spilling the Beans). Use the Gift Guide or the expanded online version as your roadmap for shopping this year – you’ll be happy that you did! But not as happy as the kids who find those super-cool toys next to the menorah or under the Christmas tree.