Whether celebrating Christmas, Birthdays, Weddings or other events, gift giving is an integral part. The main reason that gifts are exchanged is to show affection or appreciation toward the recipient. Good manners determine that we should follow some basic guidelines. Often, we have been the victim of these gaffes by family, friends or work colleagues. Or worse, perhaps we have been guilty of committing these gaffes ourselves. Avoid these faux pas the next time you are exchanging gifts.

Regift when the original card from the original giver is still inside the gift. Regifting is perfectly fine as long as some basic rules are followed.

The person receiving the regift will not ever meet the original giver of the gift to you.

The gift is in perfect, “just bought” condition meaning the wrapping is still visible.

Check that there’s no card attached that could be embarrassing if found by the new receiver.

The gift is really something that the new receiver would love to have.

Never, ever regift something that you received for free. If it’s something that a close family member/friend would like, then just give it to them mentioning that it was a freebie.

Showing favoritism toward one gift over another. This can be common for children but adults can be guilty of this, also. If the person is watching while you open their gift, then show lots of gracious enthusiasm even if it’s not to your liking.

When giving a gift, forgetting to include a gift receipt. This is really awkward for the recipient who may need to get a different size or color or maybe even a different item, all together. Don’t put them in the position of having to ask you for a receipt. Maybe they aren’t that fond of onesies…

Showing no imagination or thought for the person receiving the gift. Does she really want a Flames toque & scarf when you know she isn’t into sports teams? Doing this gives the impression that this person isn’t very special to you.

When you make no effort to wrap that gift, what’s the implied message? It’s akin to showing up for someone’s wedding dressed in grubby jeans & a t-shirt. The message is “Not interested”. Even if you are geometrically challenged to wrap well, use one of the free gift wrap services at the mall. Or buy a gift bag and crinkle some tissue on top. Voila!!

Forgetting to send a Thank you card. The person who took the time to think about you, drove around malls looking for the perfect gift for you, wrapped it and brought it over to you definitely deserves 5 minutes of your precious time to write out and mail a Thank you card!!!!

Maria Doll, certified Style & Etiquette Consultant


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