Gift-giving is a staple of human interaction that transcends culture and time.
People give gifts to one another for all kinds of reasons. However, depending on the reason, you will give different gifts in different fashions. In America today, these are the traditions that dictate important gift-giving etiquette.
Truly Consider the Other Person
If you have children or have experience with them, you will know that the gifts they give largely depend on their own interests. For example, their first gift idea might be to get their parent a dinosaur toy since that's what they would want. Since their desire to give a gift is heartfelt, everyone overlooks this cute mishap, but adults must abide by stricter etiquette. Many people give gifts the way children do—without any regard for the other person's interests or desires. Truly consider the recipient when choosing and giving a gift. Take into account their hobbies, needs, wants, and activities. Find a way to show your understanding of them through the gift.
Factor in the Social Situation
Social situations dictate so many aspects of gift selection and giving, so you should always keep it in the back of your mind. Make sure to factor in social dynamics, gift history, and cultural expectations. For example, a gift exchange between business partners is much different than one between a parent and child.
Also, weigh the history of your gift exchange with the person in question. If the other person gave you an expensive gift earlier in the year, consider matching the price or at least purchasing a bit more than you initially intended.
Culture is a large factor to consider as well, particularly you are giving a gift to someone from another country or culture. Conduct research to determine their understandings of gift-giving and expected reciprocity before choosing your item.
Think About Presentation
The way you give a gift matters immensely. Gift wrapping will change how the recipient feels valued by you, the giver. If you simply give them an unwrapped gift, you tell them that they aren't worth your time. But if you present a beautifully wrapped item with a nice ribbon on top, you will surely blow them away. Use this written guide to gift wrapping and video tutorials to spice up your wrapping skills.
Also, think about the gift's presentation in the social situation itself. If it's a group gift presented in a social setting, you may feel less pressure than hand-delivering a personal gift in private. These circumstances will also influence how you wrap and place the gift.
Use these important gift-giving etiquette tips for an equitable, appropriate, and meaningful gifting experience. Without the right mindset and approach, you risk giving an improper gift.
If you have any questions, reach out to a recipient's friend to ask them for advice on gift ideas and presentation options. It never hurts to prepare!