Handy Advice for Navigating Gift Etiquette

Handy Advice for Navigating Gift Etiquette main

Gift giving can be a wonderful experience. It’s a chance for you to show friends and loved ones that you care, express your appreciation of the people around you, and demonstrate your creative side. However, if you’ve ever stumbled into a gift-giving issue before, then you’ll also know all about the unwritten rules that you need to be aware of.

Although it’s easy to assume that any gift will be met with good will and happiness from the person receiving it, remember that making the wrong decision could easily have a negative impact on your relationship – even with a family member.

The following tips for gift giving etiquette will keep you on the right track.

1. Give What You Get?

There are going to be times in life when you might be tempted to use another person’s gift to you at a previous stage in your relationship as a benchmark for your own present choices. However, try not to judge your relationship with someone by their gifts alone. Remember, the item that you receive from that other person could be the very best that they can afford in their circumstances.

Sometimes, using the gift someone gives to you as a measuring point is helpful, as it means you won’t go over the top with your budget and if you give something relevant like the ideas featured at UKGifts, it’ll be even better. However, you shouldn’t base your decision on the value of an item alone. Try to find the right balance between showing someone that you care and going way over the top. Remember excessive spending can make people feel uncomfortable.

2. Who Should You Be Buying For?

There are people in your life that you know should always be on your gift list for big events. Your close family members, your dearest friend, and even the love interest in your life all fall into that category. However, it can be difficult to determine whether other people should make their way into the list too.

For instance, if someone in your workplace buys a gift for you on your birthday, then it would generally be good manners to find out when their birthday is so you can return the favour. While it’s true that no-one should give gifts just to receive them in return, failing to give someone a present after they’ve gone out of their way for you can cause some tension in your relationship.

Handy Advice for Navigating Gift Etiquette shopping

3. Know the Cultural Rules

Different cultures have different rules when it comes to gift giving. Before you start spreading joy with various presents for the people in your social circle, it might be worth doing some research. Find out what kind of presents might be deemed rude or inappropriate for people from different parts of the world. It’s also worth paying attention to culture when you receive gifts too.

For instance, in the UK, it would make perfect sense to open a present as soon as you get it. However, there are other parts of the world where opening a gift in front of someone is really bad manners. Generally, this is common in parts of South America and Asia.

4. Know How to Show Gratitude

Having good manners when it comes to gift etiquette doesn’t just mean knowing how you should deliver presents to people you care about. You also need to make sure that you understand how to receive a present correctly too. When you receive a gift, even if you don’t have something to give in return, or you don’t like the present, you should always smile, and give your thanks.

If you receive a gift in-person, you can thank the other individual immediately. However, if the item is delivered by mail, or in another way, you might need to find an alternative way to say your thanks. Sending an email or making a phone call can often be a good bet.

5. Be Ready to Learn

Unfortunately, many of the unwritten rules of gift giving can be difficult to come to terms with, because they’re unwritten. The people in your circle might have different expectations when it comes to presents than others, so you need to be open to learning from every interaction. Whenever you give or receive a present, take it as an opportunity to learn more about what you should be doing.

You can also take this chance to gather information about the kind of presents that the people in your group like best, and how they prefer to exchange gifts too.


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