One of the greatest pleasures we humans enjoy is the act of giving and receiving GIFTS. All cultures have gift giving traditions which express generosity, appreciation, love and happiness. Most people have a lot of questions around “GIFTING”. People fret about how to choose the right one?
Oh, are there “MANNERS” and Etiquette for giving and receiving gifts too? Is it not a simple act of selecting something and handing it over and hoping they like it? Or asking for what I want or taking your gift, removing the wrap, smiling and saying “thank you” if I like the gift and making a face if it doesn’t meet my expectation? Sometimes, even re-gifting it to someone who has been kind enough to invite me for a party.
Yes, giving and receiving gifts has some important factors to consider so they serve the purpose they were meant for: Maintaining Relationships. It would be wise to consider following tips while giving gifts:
- Choose the gift carefully: A well-meaning thought coupled with careful consideration counts more than just the former alone. You may also dwell on the fact whether you wish to gift a temporary gift or a permanent gift?
1. Temporary Gifts: Gifts like flowers, chocolates, liquor or wine, specialty foods, soaps, lotions or paper goods fall in this category. Even tickets to a concert or a match that the receiver would really appreciate can be given.
2. Enduring Gifts: Gifts ranging from hard bound books to sporting equipment, engraved silver cup or a painting can come under this category.
It is important to pay attention to certain details while selecting a gift, bear in mind the receiver’s likes and dislikes. For example, giving cake or chocolates to a person who is dieting would be inappropriate.
- Remove the price tag: Oh, how would they know how expensive a gift I have given them if there is no tag? It is perfectly ok; unless removing the tag can harm the gift itself, in that case, leave it.
- Wrap the gift: It is advisable to wrap the gift in a beautiful wrapping paper; even handmade gift wrapping is welcome.
- Include a card: It can be a little informal card which lets the receiver know who the gift-giver of a particular gift is.
- Give with confidence: Do not undervalue your graciousness by saying things like, “I know you may not like it” or “It isn’t very expensive” or “You may already have one of these.” Instead, wear your confident smile, hand the gift to the recipient and say: “Happy Birthday” or “Hope you like it” or wish for whatever the occasion may be.
How to select the right gift? Are there any rules for that?
- Selecting an appropriate gift: This focuses on the relationship between the gift and the receiver.
For example: gifting a watch to someone without arms would be totally inappropriate; or gifting books to someone who hates reading.
- Proportion: This means the amount one spends on buying the gift which also depends on your budget.
There can be two scenarios here:
1.Is it too less for the occasion and the relationship between the giver and receiver?
If your parents gift you just a chocolate for your graduation, here the occasion demands a bigger or more expensive gift which is also relative to your relationship with your parents. The closer the relationship, bigger the proportion.
2. Is it too much for the occasion and the relationship between the giver and receiver?
If a new friend gifts you a car for your birthday (how one wishes this could be true), but it would be an inappropriate gift as the gift is very expensive, specially coming from a new friend.
- Taste: Taste refers to particular choice of the receiver. Gifting things which you may find funny without understanding the receiver’s taste may end up in a spoiled relationship.
- Gifting Money: There are times when “cash” is the most appreciated form of gift when a family is going through a new phase and requires money to buy things of their own choice. For example, some couples prefer receiving money as their wedding gifts and it is a custom to give money to new parents for their new-born.
- Gifting your time: There are times when your time is the biggest gift that is required by the other person, in such scenarios it will create a lasting bond if you are able to gift your TIME. Like a weekly visit to an ill person who is house-bound or babysitting or running errands for a new mom.
- Group gifting: There are times when you may need to contribute as a group to buy a gift for someone. If you are organizing the group gift invite people to participate, pick the gift ahead of time, notify the date they should respond by to participate as a giver and add every participants name in the card (make a bigger card).
It is a wonderful idea to keep some gifts stacked away for emergency, believe me they do come in handy at times. Also, a top tip is to keep your ears open about what your near and dear ones would like to buy in recent future, you can make a gift list and buy accordingly.
The author of this article, Kshama Dudpuri is an enthusiastic reader and writer,education and parening influencer, founder of POISE7 and wants to bring a change in the compassion meter in this world.