According to one study, about 6 in 10 Americans say that they consider themselves good gift-givers.
If you aren’t one of those 6 in 10 Americans, you may be wondering how to find the perfect gift for someone. And when you do, what are the rules for giving and receiving gifts?
Are you trying to figure out gift etiquette and wondering what to do? Read this article to learn what you need to know even if you’re a complete beginner.
Table of Contents
- 1 1. Don’t Worry About Price Matching
- 2 2. Don’t Re-Gift
- 3 3. Be Culturally Aware
- 4 4. Be Honest if You Don’t Have a Gift
- 5 5. Show Appreciation
- 6 6. Be Respectful to a Host
- 7 7. Include a Gift Receipt
- 8 8. Follow Workplace Rules
- 9 9. Make Cash or Gift Cards More Personal
- 10 10. Send a Thank You Note
- 11 Follow This Gift Etiquette Today!
1. Don’t Worry About Price Matching
When you’re buying gifts, you really shouldn’t worry about price matching. This means that you’re trying to buy a gift that costs about the same as the gift you’re receiving.
Before you stop shopping for gifts, make sure you create a budget and determine how much you’re willing to spend on someone. Make sure you stick to it, even if you receive a gift that’s more expensive than what you were planning on spending.
You shouldn’t be worried about matching the price because this means that it’s more pressure to get a gift rather than just getting them a gift out of thoughtfulness.
Most loved ones probably won’t be dropping a lot of money on gifts for you, so you can take a little stress off trying o find something extravagant for them as well.
If you don’t have as much money to budget with, you could also try and find a thoughtful gift instead. These can be low-budget, like a framed photo, a poem, or a copy of the person’s favorite book.
2. Don’t Re-Gift
One rule you should never break is to make sure you never re-gift something you got to someone else.
If the person ever discovers that it was a re-gift, they will be hurt and offended. It shows that you didn’t care enough to go out and pick something specifically for them.
If the person who gave you the item finds out you re-gifted it, they may be hurt as well.
If you do need to re-gift something because you know the recipient would love it, try your best to cover our tracks. Make sure it’s in its original packaging and that it’s not personalized. You should also make sure the person you’re giving it to and the person you got it from doesn’t run in the same circles.
3. Be Culturally Aware
When giving gifts, you should also try to be culturally aware. Not all cultures celebrate the same holidays that we do or in the same way.
It may be normal to give and receive gifts for a holiday for you, but your friend may not participate. You should do your research before giving them a gift so you make sure you don’t embarrass or offend them.
There are also different etiquette rules. In North America, we commonly open gifts in front of people. However, in South America and Asia, people normally unwrap them in private.
4. Be Honest if You Don’t Have a Gift
If you don’t have a gift, just be honest with the person.
If someone gives you a present that you weren’t expecting, just tell them that you don’t have one for them in return.
It’s best to be authentic in this moment. Make sure you don’t go and grab something out of your closet in a panic and then give it to the person because they’ll know exactly what you’re doing.
5. Show Appreciation
When you do receive a present, make sure that you show appreciation for it, even if you don’t like it.
If it’s in person, make sure you thank them and tell them you appreciate it.
If you receive it in the mail, let the sender know that you’ve received it and thank them for their thoughtfulness.
6. Be Respectful to a Host
If you get invited to someone’s party or home during the holidays, it’s always good manners to show up with a gift. It’s kind of like an exchange for the invite.
These gifts shouldn’t be too crazy or personalized, but a little something like a bottle of wine or some chocolates can really show your appreciation.
7. Include a Gift Receipt
When giving a gift, you should also include a gift receipt. This will let the recipient subtly exchange it if it’s the wrong size or they don’t like it.
This avoids all the awkward conversations about having to ask for a gift receipt later on.
Don’t make it more difficult than it has to be, so just make sure you include it.
8. Follow Workplace Rules
Giving gifts in your office or workplace can be tricky sometimes.
You’ll need to figure out whether or not you want to get all of your coworkers a gift or not, and you have to consider the fact that some people may be left out.
If you’re new to your job, ask around to see what the normal traditions are.
9. Make Cash or Gift Cards More Personal
If you do have to give someone a gift card or cash, try and make it somewhat personal.
Try and find a gift card to someplace they really like but don’t get to go to often rather than just a generic Visa gift card.
If you don’t know what to get for a specific person, you can always find inspiration online. If you’re shopping for a veteran, check out these gifts for veterans!
10. Send a Thank You Note
Once you’ve received a gift, whether in the mail or in person, you should send a thank-you note to the sender.
Hand-written notes are always a better option, but sometimes an email can suffice depending on the formality of the gift.
Follow This Gift Etiquette Today!
By following these gift etiquette rules, you’ll be able to avoid some of the awkwardness that can come with exchanging gifts. It doesn’t always have to be awkward; it can be a nice way to show your appreciation for someone.
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