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Gift Giving Etiquette

A Quick Guide to Gift Giving Etiquette

Everyone loves to get gifts, but whether it be for a birthday or for a holiday, there is always some form of gift giving etiquette to keep in mind. It is great to share gifts with one another and you don’t want to hurt or offend anyone by mistake.

One of the problems people sometimes have to deal with is getting two of the same gift. The easiest thing to do is to just to keep it. Certainly if it is something like a coffee pot, toaster, or other small, electrical appliance, you never know when having a spare might be handy. Some people keep the item and then save it to give to someone else when they are expected to give a gift. According to gift giving etiquette, this is only appropriate if the item is new in its original box. Don’t send it in the gift wrap it came in as there might be a card inside addressed to you.

Another option, of course, is to return the gift and exchange it for another. Gift giving etiquette requires that you ask the person who gave it to you if this is okay with them. Just tell them how much you really appreciate receiving a gift from them and that you will pick out another gift from the same store. Usually people don’t mind at all if you want to exchange a gift.

If it is the holiday season and you receive an unexpected gift from someone, it is not necessary to rush out and get a gift for them. You should thank them and tell them how much you appreciate the gift. Gift giving at the office can sometimes be difficult as you probably do not know everyone as personally as you do close friends and family. Gift giving etiquette usually involves co-workers getting together to give one gift to the boss. Some offices have grab bag gift exchanges and in some, people draw names. It is best to stick to whatever price guidelines have been established, so that no one is embarrassed by receiving too large or small a gift.

It is not against gift giving etiquette to ask someone what they would like for a gift or to have them compose a wish list. You always want the recipient to be happy with a gift and this helps assure that they will be. If you have no idea what to give someone, or don’t know someone well enough to get a personal gift, a gift certificate can be appropriate. During the holiday season in particular, it is okay to give gifts to people who might not celebrate a holiday in the same way you do. Use cards or stickers that say happy holidays or something like that instead mentioning a specific holiday.

Whenever you are buying a gift, stick to what you can afford. Nothing in gift giving etiquette says that a gift has to be in a certain price range no matter what the occasion. Be equally appreciative of every gift you get be it big or small.




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