Top tips to help you survive gift-giving season

Slippers Barry, Really?

Giving and receiving gifts can be a bit tricky so we’ve compiled some pointers to help you shoot your best shot.

Words by Tamara Clarke

It’s the time of year when people show gratitude by giving and sometimes receiving gifts.

And whilst Santa seems to have it nailed, he does have a team of elves behind him. For the rest of us, gift exchange can get really awkward if you don’t practise proper gift-giving etiquette. Follow these rules to make your loved ones feel special this holiday season in the most gracious way.

Remove price tags
It’s the thought that counts, right? So leave it at that. The recipient doesn’t need to know how much (or how little) you paid for their gift.

Inspect items before wrapping or packaging them and carefully remove all price tags – not just the markdowns (don’t be cheeky).

In keeping with this very important rule, ask for a gift receipt when purchasing. This way, you can give the recipient proof of purchase in case of return or exchange without revealing what you paid for it.

Manage your expectations
Sometimes you’re lucky enough to be on the receiving end and sometimes you’re not.

If you’re planning to give someone a gift, check your motives and remember that giving to get something in return is not a fail-proof strategy.

Always give freely and cheerfully so that you’re not disappointed if you don’t receive a gift in return.

Show gratitude
Manners are a must when receiving a gift. Always say ‘thank you’ during the exchange and if you really want to make a grand overture, follow up with a personalised ‘thank you’ note.

A hand-written message on stylish cardstock is a classy way to leave a lasting impression but in today’s fast paced word, an email will also do the trick.

Always gift the hostess
It’s common for friends and family to gather for the holidays and the hostess plays a special role in making it all happen. They usually coordinate logistics, manage invitations, provide most if not all of the holiday fare and allow it all to happen in their space.

As a way of paying tribute to them for all of their hard work, guests should present the host with a gift upon arrival. It doesn’t have to be anything grand, just a kind gesture to mark the occasion.

Rules for re-gifting
It’s happened to all of us; you’re given an amazing gift that’s not right for you. Perhaps it’s a duplicate of something you already have or maybe it’s just not useful but either way, you aren’t stuck with it.

Repurposing a gift is perfectly fine when it’s done the right way, because hanging on to something to simply be polite is not ideal. The first rule of re-gifting is don’t get caught.

Remove all traces of the initial exchange. This includes ‘to and from’ notes, original gift wrap, stray pieces of tape, etc. If you’re re-gifting in the original packaging make sure there are no obvious signs of re-gifting on the packaging too.

And just like the first rule of re-gifting, the final rule of re-gifting is don’t get caught!

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