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How to give and receive gifts: unwritten etiquette rules

Yulia PoteriankoLife
In order not to spoil the impression of the gift, you need to give and receive it correctly

Gifts are one of the most pleasant aspects of our lives. We give them on occasions and without, just to cheer someone up. It can be a very simple thing, like sweets or a bouquet of flowers, or something really valuable. In any case, the process of gifting is an important social ritual that is accompanied by its own rules of etiquette.

OBOZREVATEL tells you what unspoken traditions should be followed to make the gifting process pleasant for all parties and to ensure that both the giver and the recipient of the gift have only the best impressions of each other.

How to Give Gifts

Be sure of the true purpose of the gift. Choose a gift for a specific holiday or occasion. For example, Christmas tree ornaments are unlikely to be suitable for a birthday, and creatively packaged diapers will rarely please your partner in the Secret Santa game at work. Also, when choosing a gift, think about how well this gift will express your feelings for the person it's intended for. To make sure you don't make a mistake, you can ask yourself a couple of control questions:

  • How much do I care about this person?
  • How much time, energy, and money am I willing to spend to choose the right gift?

In some cases, a bouquet of flowers and a beautiful card will be enough, while for others, you may want to make something special with your own hands.

Gather information about the recipient. Ask what the person you are preparing a gift for likes. You can do this through mutual friends or by browsing social media. Find out about their favorite color, food or drink, learn about what hobbies they have, etc. The more you know about what the person you're giving a gift to likes, the more successful it will be.

Be sensitive to personal and cultural differences. Ethnic, religious, and cultural customs often impose restrictions on a person's lifestyle, and you need to take this into account if you want your gift to be truly enjoyable. For example, it's not a good idea to give alcohol to someone who doesn't drink for some reason. You'll be wasting money, and the person will be indifferent to such a gift at best.

Know when corporate logos are appropriate. Sometimes a company logo on a gift makes it look cheap. It also suggests that the gift was hastily chosen from the assortment of standard souvenirs available at work. Gifts with a logo can be good as small tokens of attention and mementos of meetings. But for significant events or in honor of deep feelings, you should choose something without such markers.

Use simple and elegant packaging. Colorful prints, bright ribbons, and large bows draw a lot of attention to the gift. But in this case, there is a chance that the emotions from the design will be greater than the emotions from the contents of the gift. It is better to choose elegant packaging materials and restrained decor.

Present the gift correctly. When it comes to handing over the chosen item, hold it with both hands and pass it gently with a smooth but wide gesture so that the person sees that the thing you have chosen has a certain value for you as an expression of your feelings. If you are sending the gift by courier or mail, include your business card and a handwritten note or card.

How to Accept Gifts

Express your gratitude for the gift in person. If you receive a gift from hand to hand, be sure to smile and take it with both hands. Try to come up with some original wording of gratitude in addition to the universal word "thank you."

Let the giver know that you have received their gift. If the gift came by a delivery service or mail, take the time to let the sender know as soon as possible that it has arrived and that everything is fine. Call to say so, send an email, or, if you're in a close relationship, send a happy selfie with the gift.

Learn how to open a gift appropriately, whether in the presence of guests or in private. Different cultures and situations require different approaches to opening gifts. At a family party, it is most likely appropriate to unwrap a gift in front of the guests. But it is better to collect gifts from colleagues at work and open them at home. After all, these can often be envelopes with money, and it's impolite to count other people's finances.

Write thank-you notes. This is the best way to give the giver pleasant emotions in response to their efforts. Even if you don't like the gift, even if you plan to return it to the store or give it as a gift, sign a card or write an email expressing your gratitude.

Earlier, OBOZREVATEL told what etiquette says about the use of emoticons in business correspondence.

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