Gift Guides

10 Unwritten Rules of Giving Gifts

13 Aug , 2017  

There is a reason that receiving gifts is one of the five love languages. However, when it comes to giving gifts, there are a few things you should always take into consideration to make sure your kind gesture is well received. Whether you are buying a gift for your husband or wife, a baby shower gift for a friend, a wedding gift for a co-worker, or anything in between, we’ve compiled a list of some helpful tips to help you find the perfect gift!

#1: Set a Budget

Setting a budget allows you to determine a starting point, which also ensures an even playing field. For example, if you have three nieces, you will want to send gifts in the same price range, so nobody feels less important than the others.

Be sure to set your budget on what you can afford. What is standard for the occasion, and keep in mind how many gift giving events you may have during a set month. If you have 6 birthdays during the month of June, you have to budget accordingly for each.

Similarly, shopping for a birthday gift in December when you also have to prepare Christmas gifts makes a big difference. Some people plan to buy gifts throughout the year, so they can spread out their purchases and not have to buy them all within the same time frame.

If you plan ahead, you can take time to find the perfect gift at a good price and save it until the occasion comes up.

#2: Remember, It’s Not Just About the Money

Removing the price from a gift is something you should always do. It doesn’t matter whether you buy the products in store or online, you need to remove or cut the price tag portion of boxes, or checking the box “Give as a Gift” for your online purchases.

By removing the price, you keep the recipient’s emphasis on the gift and not how much you spent on it. There’s no reason to make someone feel guilty because you gave him or her a more expensive gift than they gave you.

And if you’re searching for something nice on a lower budget, it’s possible to get a great deal on a really nice gift while staying within your budget if you find a great sale. Make sure your gift recipient doesn’t know that it was a clearance find for better presentation.

#3: Consider the Lifestyle of Your Recipient

One great rule is to give a gift that you wouldn’t mind receiving. And it is doesn’t hurt to understand the gift recipient’s lifestyle before you give.
Things like religious preferences, geographical location, or lifestyle choices come into play.

Is this gift something they would use? Would it be offensive? Could it cause any problems if I give an animal-skin clothing? Does it go with their existing theme or décor? Does the gift recipient have any allergies or sensitivities (peanuts, fragrances, animals, etc.)?

A beautiful glass vase may look exquisite on the coffee table, but may not be the best gift for new parents. In occasions like shopping for a wedding or baby shower, be sure to check their gift registry so you can purchase something they have already chosen. Or at the very least, make sure your gift aligns with their preferences.

#4: Prepare the Gift so It’s Ready to Use

This doesn’t mean to open up the gift and test it out.

Sometimes when you buy a product, not all of the necessary parts are included. It could be something as small as purchasing batteries for a new toy, or a protective case for your smartphone. When you buy a nice coffee machine, it would be nice to buy a bag of coffee beans to go along with it.

If you can add any special touches to complete your gift, do so. This is especially true for kids and teens that don’t have the patience to wait and want to try out their new gift right away.

#5: Ask for Parents’ Permission When Purchasing for a Child

This is especially important as parents want to have a say in what their kids use and are exposed to. Different parents allow their children to use different things at different ages.

Some families enforce “no-technology” rule until their children become teenagers. Giving a screen item could be unwanted and create unnecessary stress when having to take that gift away from their eager son. While one mom may paint her daughter’s toe nails, other moms would prefer her daughter waits until a much older age to use certain beauty items.

Finally, the parents’ financial status could be a big factor. If you plan to purchase an expensive item that outshines the parents’ own budget, it could create an uncomfortable situation.

Whether it’s for age appropriateness, interest, children’s abilities or respecting the parents’ budget, checking in with mom and dad before purchasing a gift for a child is a great idea.

#6: Make Sure Your Gift Sends the Right Message

There are types of gifts for both women or men alike. However, some gifts are better suited for a girlfriend or wife than a sister or co-worker.

While the woman in your office party may love a massage kit, it could certainly cause some awkward tension in the office if she isn’t in a romantic relationship with you. You definitely don’t want your gift to come across the wrong way.

If the recipient is an acquaintance, make sure your gift is also something that is intended for a casual relationship. Keep in mind other sensitive topics, gifting a nice candy assortment for someone who is trying to eat healthy isn’t very kind just as gifting an overweight person a weight-loss cookbook could also come across rude.

A person’s role in their family also may play a role in what kind of gift is best. Your wife may ask for a new vacuum, but if she doesn’t, she may prefer a nice bouquet of flowers or jewelry instead of a reminder of all the messes she has to clean up.

When in doubt, it is best to find something that is neutral and can enjoyed by everyone.

#7: Consider the Physical Size of the Gift

Holidays are occasions when family members and close friends come together to celebrate the good times. Often times, members of the family travel have to fly in to meet.

If your gift recipient has to pack up all the gifts in their suitcase, a smaller sized gift would be more appropriate. If your friend resides in a small apartment, you should be careful with the size of the gift and how much space it will take up.

If you are ordering a gift online, the size of the gift (and weight) will add additional shipping costs. This is something you must also take into account with your gifting budget.

#8: Consider Important Dates and Themes in Relation to Your Gift

This rule is typical written for anniversaries. When looking for a gift for your husband or wife to celebrate another year of marriage, there is a list for both traditional and modern anniversary gifts by the year of marriage.

For a first anniversary, traditionalist suggests paper while modernist suggests clocks. For your tenth anniversary, tradition recommends tin/aluminum-based gifts, while modern society prefers a diamond jewelry. And the anniversary of 25 years of marriage, both advocate a gift of silver.

Baby shower is also another occasion that can be themed. Have the parents chose a theme for their nursery décor yet? If yes, find something that complements.

If it is meant for a baby boy, go for blue-colored products. And for a baby girl, pinks and purples are the general favorites. If the parents want to keep the gender of their baby a secret, choose gender-neutral colors, such as green, yellow and white.

#9: When Giving a Gift, It’s the Thought that Counts

It is sometimes so tempting to give a gift card and be done with it.

There are certainly situations where gifting a gift card or gift certificate is appreciated. However, any time you get the chance to gift something really personal, that special touch goes a long way!

Does the person you are shopping for collect anything or have a favorite movie character? Adding something they you know they will love to their collection is always fun.

Personalizing a gift or creating a custom design is also incredibly meaningful. It takes an ordinary gift and turns it into something truly special –one of a kind that was designed just for them.

Most of the time, a small but incredibly meaningful gift can have a much larger impact on your recipient than something general at a larger cost without any personal meaning.

#10: Always Include a Gift Receipt Whenever Possible

This is especially true for clothing and baby items. While you hate to think that your recipient would want to return their gift you picked out for them, you just never know if they may need to.

Perhaps the sweater you purchased is too small or the beautiful dress is unflattering. They may need to exchange their gift for another size or color or perhaps something else all together.

While it’s unpleasant to think of your gift being unwanted, the idea of someone having to hang onto an item they won’t want or use is always worse.

Whatever your gift recipient decides to do, you can have peace of mind that he or she will end up with something they truly want.

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