gift giving etiquette

For centuries, our civilization has presented gifts to the guest of honor during special events — births, birthdays, ceremonies, weddings and graduations. The gifts are thought to be a representation of our honor for being in attendance, for understanding this superb individual or as a congratulatory response for a job well done.

However, the question is what is the appropriate way to present a gift?

We think Mother Teresa said it best, “Celebrations are our way to express the pride and joy we have for the famous people in our life when they reach milestones.”

Gifting shouldn’t be taken lightly and with a few fundamental principles of etiquette — gifting is going to be an enjoyable experience rather than a challenging undertaking.

Realize That Presents Aren’t Required

Giving kids gifts on their special days is such a familiar gesture which is why it’s easy to take them for granted. Before deciding about which guest you would like to invite to your child’s party do not plan on a mountain of presents; it is essential not to forget that gifts are never mandatory.

Formal etiquette holds that the receiver of a wedding invitation remains obligated to send a present even if they are not considering to attend the ceremony, but the same rule is not applicable for birthday parties. Mentioning of where to ship or drop off presents in kids’ birthday invitation, particularly for guests who are prepared to decline your invitation, is in poor taste.

Don’t Dictate Acceptable Presents

It is never okay to dictate the kinds of gifts you’ll find acceptable for a kid’s birthday party,
even if you’ve got strong feelings about what is and isn’t permitted in his/her space. You
could have a powerful distaste of branded toys or expect that your guests will bring just
novels to a birthday celebration, but etiquette requires that you refrain from making any
mention of these rules in the invitation details.

Asking for Cash or Gift Cards

Definitely not — let your guests choose the time to buy a present from their heart rather
than money from their pocketbooks. Asking for money isn’t classy, and we always need to
be classy.

Money is Not King

Proper etiquette is to not to give cash money. Take some time to purchase a present for the
child or from a registry. So much energy and time are put into a party or event, show the
same respect and present accordingly.

Gift Cards versus a Tangible Gift

In the current time, gift cards are now available for an ever-increasing range of products
and services, in shops, and online. A real gift that someone can open and see in front of you
is much more sentimental. You need the receiver to understand the time and thought were
put into the present.  Gift cards are easy and a lot of time never get used.

Dinner Party = Hostess Gift Always

It’s always a kind gesture to take a little hostess or home gift whenever invited to
someone’s house for lunch and dinner. One of the most common things is a bottle of
wine, a box of fine chocolates, a bouquet of flowers, a coffee table book or something
from your hometown, area or country.

Choose Your Words Carefully for a “No Gifts” Party

Discouraging materialism by asking that your guests bring no gifts whatsoever is
commendable, but is also not considered good etiquette. Requesting that your guests to
forgo the gift-giving element of the party is an assumption they were likely to bring
presents in the first place — is equally as off-limits as ordering the kind of gifts you want.

If you decide to host a no-gifts celebration, it is crucial that you’re very careful with the
wording of the invitation. As an example, simply stating that you would like that no gifts
are bought can be construed as rude while stating “it is not necessary to bring anything
except for yourselves!” gets the point across with no direct mention to presents.

Waiting Until After the Party to Open Presents is Acceptable

Now more parents are deciding to wait until after the festivities have ended to open presents for many different reasons. Younger children may not have the most strong grasp on the notion of gracious gift getting, and as such can be inadvertently rude when they find that a gift isn’t one they desired or is one which they already have.  On the other hand, gifts that children are excited about could be a diversion from the party itself, inspiring the kids
in attendance to want to split in the packaging for instant playtesting.

Pieces become lost, disagreements about sharing break out and chaos ensue. What’s more, the gift-opening facet of a child’s birthday party can be a time-consuming portion of a relatively brief party. Whatever your reasoning for choosing to open presents later, it’s acceptable provided that
the appropriate gratitude is expressed.

Bear in mind that a few guests attend parties to observe the child open the gift. If you’re asked if the child can uncover their present at party time, graciously accept.

Teach Children to Be Grateful For All Gifts Received

No matter whether your child will be opening presents throughout the party or after the festivities end, it is imperative that you benefit from their teaching opportunity and encourage your child to express his/her gratitude for the things he’s/she is given.

Every guest should be thanked when a package is handed over, even though it will not be opened until afterward. An excellent way to incorporate this practice into your party timeline is to have your child at the door greeting each guest.

Do Not Skip the Thank You Notes

An extension of teaching children to show gratitude is ensuring they’re actively involved with the thank-you note procedure. The most emotional verbal thanks can’t be compared to a quick handwritten note, which is in keeping with appropriate gift-giving etiquette whatever the occasion.

It is obviously okay for a parent to deal with the thank you notes if a child is too small to write them, but older children should write their own notes also correctly and express their gratitude.