Giving gifts can often feel more rewarding than receiving them. But etiquette always enters into this fine art. Here are 10 surefire ways to find the perfect gift, but perhaps more vitally, to properly deliver it.
Know if the circumstance requires giving a gift. Sometimes invitations blatantly request presents, but on the other hand, it may be vague. Determine if others are also giving gifts, so you are not the only one and look awkward.
Consider the person’s cultural background. Certain symbols, numbers and pictures possess negative meanings in other cultures. Think ahead. Read this blog entry by Travel Opinions for more insight.
Think of the person’s interests. Know the individual before you buy a gift. There is not a worse feeling as a recipient than to obtain something that does not correlate to favorite pastimes or hobbies. Sure, the thought counts, but recipients appreciate when the gift-giver takes into consideration his or her interests.
Write a card. Simple and sweet, crafting a message for the recipient – whether short or lengthy – demonstrates consideration. If you have time, make your own. Otherwise, pick up some cardstock or a cool design from Hallmark. Regardless, write something.
Choose gift cards instead of checks. Checks signal that you just could not think of anything and settled with money. Granting someone a gift card to his or her favorite store suggests you at least put some thought into this.
Avoid giving novelty or gag gifts. Of course they make people laugh, but ponder over its usefulness after the initial laugh. A good gift holds value, not just hilarity.
Be practical. Certain situations do not warrant spending much money. One situation is with office gift-giving. Keep your budget in mind and your ego in check. The ImpactPublishing blog echoes these thoughts.
Give the gift in timely fashion. Anyone can overlook receiving a gift a few days or even a week late – assuming it was shipped – but longer than that suggests the recipient is an afterthought. Think ahead and make a note on your calendar of what date the person’s birthday falls on, or face the consequences.
Do not feel obligated to give a gift in some situations. For instance, if you are not attending a wedding, you should not feel required to send a congratulatory gift. The Wedding Lens blog emphasizes this point. Good luck as you look for that next special present. – Brett Nachman