One of the hallmarks of holidays and celebrations is the giving of gifts. A seemingly simple task but once one starts the process of gifting, it can at times be quite overwhelming and even stressful. So many questions whirl about in our minds such as; What to get? How much to spend? How to present it? Should it be store bought or handmade? There is often a lingering doubt in the back of our minds where we are afraid of making a faux pas. An activity as rewarding as gifting should not be this stressful and hard. Here are a few tips on gift giving etiquettes to help you along. 

  • Recipient- This is one of the most imperative points to consider when giving a gift. Since they are the ones who will be receiving it, the gift should be catered to what they like, what they may need, their personality and characteristic, as well as their likes and dislikes. Your relationship with the recipient also has an affect on what gift you would get them. Is it a family member, close friend, work colleague, significant other? These are valuable things to keep in mind when choosing a gift.  
  • Reciprocity- After receiving a gift, often one of our first thoughts is usually about what we will give to the person in return. However, this is not always necessary. There are many situations where a gift is given without the expectation of receiving one back. This especially applies to occasions where individuals are being celebrated or their accomplishments are being highlighted. Events such as weddings, birthdays, and graduations do not require an exchange of gifts. So it is advised to not burden oneself with the thought of having to get a gift in return.  
  • Equality- For occasions where gift exchanges are expected such as certain holidays or gift exchange activities in the workplace, many people feel pressured that the gift must be of equal or greater value than the gift given to them. This thought should be avoided, and it should be kept in mind that it is more about the act than it is about the monetary value. Gifts should be tied to meaning and not to the price tag attached to them. 
  • Gratitude- Etiquette experts have stated that after receiving a gift, the appropriate time to express gratitude is within a week of being given the gift. Of course, there is the immediate gratitude we show as we smile and verbally thank the person giving us the gift. But it is seen as more impactful to take the time afterwards to write out a personal thank you note. This small act can have an immense significance and truly make the gift giver happy. 

So, there you have it ladies and gentlemen! A few quick tips that will help make the task of gift giving less stressful and more enjoyable. Always remember that this is not meant to be something full of anxiety, rather it should be a fun and meaningful experience for all those involved.