When I was deleting my spam mail, I came across a website talking about holiday blunders. It says "don't give kitchen gadget to a woman because it is like telling her to do more housework," and "don't give a man a gift that would hint your intention of changing him, such as body care product". These arguments all sound logical and we've all heard this before. But on closer examination, the arguments are under the assumption that gifts come with some agenda of the giver. This is wrong. This is not the spirit of gifting. So instead of picking the gift that the recipient really wants, which is already a difficult task at times, now I have to think about "how to avoid making myself a complete ass by hinting something I don't mean in the first place"?
It is, of course, wrong to think about hinting when buying gifts. At the same time, it is wrong to think about avoiding hinting when choosing a gift because you're just thinking about self-preservation instead of what the recipient really wants/needs. It is equally wrong to think about these thoughts when receiving a gift. That is mind game. That is diplomacy. That happens when people are not completely honest and forthcoming to one another. That is not the spirit of giving gift.
Gifts are not instruments of hint. Let's get back to the real spirit of gifting. You love someone; that someone loves you.