gift giving

The Complete Guide to the Common Gift Giving Etiquette

Gift giving is an important part of human society that has been practiced for thousands of years. It is the gift giving tradition that makes humans uniquely human, and a community especially unique. It is essential to remember the importance of giving gifts in terms of the person you are giving them to. 

In the past, gift giving was done for very specific reasons. Objects, though extremely valuable and important to the human race, were not so plentiful or so easily accessible. In fact, many items for personal use such as clothing, jewelry and weapons were only given as gifts due to the amount of time and effort needed to create these luxury items. Furthermore, these gifts were not just given to anyone, they were given to very important people in one's life. In a way, that is still true to this day. Giving unique, personal and unexpected gifts to loved ones shows how much love and attention that were put into that gift.

Etiquette has very specific rules about when and where gifts should be given. The rules of etiquette for gifts can be applied to any gift giving occasion, though there are certain rules that are especially important to use at certain times.

Gift Cards Are Gifts Too

While gift cards may not seem like the most personal gifts, they can be very thoughtful and valuable. For example, some people wish to give a gift card to restaurants, stores and other businesses, which are places they know the recipient loves to go to. In this way, they are giving the recipient something they want, but also giving something they will appreciate. A gift card is a great way to give a gift to someone, even if you can't think of something else to give them.

Be in the Shoes of the Receiver

It is also important to think about how the gift will make the receiver feel. While we may value material things and appreciate a new car or a diamond necklace, other people may not have the same taste in gifts. Therefore, it is important to take the time to think about how the receiver will appreciate the gift. And then, give the gift of your choice.

Know the Right and the Wrong Time

The right time to give a gift is important. The wrong time to give a gift is almost as bad as not giving a gift at all. Every gift giving tradition has rules about when and when not to give a specific gift. For example, flowers and chocolates are the most common gifts that are given on Valentine's Day weekend. You should not give flowers or chocolates on Easter Sunday. Gifts are given on special occasions, such as Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries and so on. These occasions are important to remember.

Gift Experiences Are More Valuable Than Things

For example, a gift of a wine tasting trip may be a great gift because it creates an experience that will be remembered. Even after the trip, it can be brought up and enjoyed again whenever the receiver wants. On the other hand, if the wine tasting trip goes wrong, the experience will have been bad. This is something to think about before giving a gift that is an experience instead of a thing.

Know the Value

Lastly, it is important to know the value of the gift you are giving. While gift giving was a way of showing how much you love and care for the receiver, it was also important to be able to show that you could afford to give a gift in the first place. Sometimes, inexpensive gifts could be just as thoughtful as a more expensive one. However, the more expensive the gift, the more thought and care the gift-giver must have put into the gift.


Good etiquette is vital to successful gift giving. As we enter the age of technology, it is good to remember that gift giving is still an important part of social interaction.

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