7 Best Tips for Gift Giving Etiquette

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Gift giving is a great way to show appreciation and to acknowledge someone’s accomplishments. It’s also a great way to connect with others and create meaningful relationships. However, there are certain etiquette rules that should be followed when it comes to gift giving. Knowing the right gift giving etiquette can help you make the right impression and show your appreciation in the best way possible.

Gift giving etiquette (affiliate link) can be thought of as a guide. Acceptable etiquette is usually based on a set of rules and suggestions that can help you choose and present gifts in a respectful and appropriate way.

What exactly equates to gift giving etiquette can vary dramatically, depending on the culture, occasion and relationship. For example, a retirment gift would be dramatically different to a graduation gift. It can also have a lot to do with the personal preferences of both giver and receiver.

Regardless of variations in what is considered appropriate gift giving, there are a number of, dare I say rules to follow that can work in our favour. Therefore, you might find the following gift giving etiquette tips very useful.

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7 Guidelines for Gift Giving Etiquette

Gift giving can be a daunting task. It’s hard to find the perfect gift that will make the recipient feel special and appreciated.

To make the process easier, here are 10 tips for gift giving that you can use to make sure your gifts are thoughtful and meaningful. From finding out what the recipient likes, to considering their interests and personality, these tips will help you pick out a gift that will make him/her smile.

  1. Don’t make the gift about you.
    Gift giving is all about the recipient, not the gift-giver. Choose a gift that suits the receiver’s interests, needs, personality or career path. Avoid giving something that you want for yourself or that reflects your own values or opinions.
  2. It is always the thought that counts.
    The value of a gift is not measured by its price tag, but by the thoughtfulness behind it and the effort that has gone into finding and presenting it. A handmade, personalized, or meaningful gift is usually more appreciated than an expensive or generic one.
  3. Don’t expect anything in return.
    Gift giving should be a voluntary and generous act, not a transaction or an obligation. Don’t give a gift with the intention of getting something back or making someone feel indebted to you.
  4. Keep gifts within a reasonable budget.
    Don’t spend more than you can afford or more than what is appropriate for the occasion or the relationship. Spending too much can make the receiver feel uncomfortable or embarrassed not to mention the possibility of making you feel resentful if the value is not appreciated.
  5. Ask what someone wants.
    If you are unsure what to give someone, it’s okay to ask directly or indirectly what the person would like or might need. You can also ask the recipient’s family or friends for suggestions. This can help you avoid giving something unwanted or inappropriate.
  6. Money and gift cards are acceptable gifts.
    Some people may think that giving money or gift cards is impersonal or lazy, but they can actually be very practical and useful gifts for some occasions or recipients. For example, money or gift cards can be appropriate for weddings, graduations, birthdays, or people who are hard to shop for.
  7. Don’t make gifting awkward for the receiver.
    When giving a gift, be respectful of the receiver’s feelings and preferences. Don’t give something that is too personal, intimate, offensive, or embarrassing. Don’t give something that implies criticism or judgment. Don’t give something that can be a burden or a hassle for the receiver. Don’t give pets unless specifically asked for.

    I can personally attest to this piece of advice. The situation still lives regretfully in my mind. My father’s dog had recently passed away. I was filled with excitement at the thought of replacing his treasured dog with the cutest little puppy I could find. What a mistake!! The look of surprise, and dare I say disappointment, on his face said it all. The choice of his next dog was, and always should have been, his and his alone. The gift of a pet is way too personal unless it is for your young son or daughter.

As you have seen, there are some rules that should be followed when it comes to gift giving. Knowing these rules can help you give the perfect gift every time!

What About Gift Receiving Etiquette?

While we are discussing gift etiquette, let’s briefly touch on one tip for receiving gracefully.

Say thank you and show appreciation.
When receiving a gift, be polite and gracious. Express your gratitude and appreciation verbally and non-verbally. Smile, make eye contact, and say thank you sincerely?

If possible, send a thank you note or message later to acknowledge the gift again?

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