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September 20, 2021
Gift giving is a common and well known practice thats been around as long as humans have. We have so many holidays and celebrations centered around it, and giving gifts to friends, family members and loved ones is a great way to show them you care. But there are also a lot of unspoken (or unknown) rules when it comes to how and when to give gifts. Ease your gifting anxiety with this simple guide to proper gifting etiquette.
The proper way to give a gift changes depending on the holiday, celebration and recipient. For each occasion and reason to give a gift, there are certain expectations from how much money you should spend to whether you should bring a gift at all.
One of the most important rules of gift giving has been somewhat lost amongst the younger generations, and that’s the hostess gift. While its not necessary to bring something to every casual hang out, if you’re attending a dinner party or social event (such as a birthday party, holiday gathering, etc) then its good form to bring a gift for the person hosting the event.
You don’t need to break the bank or put hours of thought into finding the perfect unique gift, but bringing along a hostess gift is a great way to thank your friend for having you, and give a little something in return. Common hostess gifts include a bottle of wine, flowers, and chocolate.
DO NOT ask People What they Want to Receive
Unless you’re very close to the intended recipient, it’s bad manners to ask them what they want. Gifting is not only about WHAT you give, it’s also about demonstrating your thoughtfulness and putting in the effort to find a present they’ll love. Asking them flat out kind of defeats the spirit of it.
DO Give a Gift Receipt (always)
Even if you believe you’ve found the absolute perfect gift for the recipient, it’s still polite to include a gift receipt. Gift giving should center on the feelings of the person you’re giving the gift to, not your own pride. While having someone exchange a gift may feel hurtful, there are so many reasons they may need to do so, and you shouldn’t consider it a reflection on you.
DO Write a Personal Note, Especially if You’re Giving a Gift Card
Cards are another gifting staple that are slowly being left behind. However, its always best to send a personal note along with any gift. If you’re giving a gift card, a note is especially important because it helps to give a personal and thoughtful touch to a present that may otherwise be considered impersonal.
Send a Thank You Note
If there’s an etiquette to giving gifts, then there’s also etiquette to receiving them. Of all the ways gifting etiquette has been forgotten, there is no element more overlooked than that of the thank you note. While it may seem old fashioned to send an actual note in the mail, if you want to show your appreciation for a gift then it’s so easy to do so by sending a thank you email or text message, or by simply picking up the phone and telling them how much their gift was loved.
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