Department stores Informative - Gift giving etiquette

Review by 23169 on 2007-12-11
It’s that time of year again and with all the returning of things I thought it might be nice to pass this on to every one. Happy shopping!

In life, it is customary to celebrate joyful events with the exchange or giving of gifts.

Despite which end you are on, the act of gifting can be fun and exciting. There are, however, certain unspoken rules of etiquette that should be followed. Here are some basic guidelines to help keep you on track:

For starters, if you happen to receive two of the same items as gifts, you have several options. You can always keep both and have a spare on hand. This works well with certain household appliances, such as coffee pots. For parties and entertaining, two coffee pots come in handy. In one you can brew regular coffee and in the other you can serve up decaffeinated coffee for those who get the jitters.

Your other options when receiving two identical gifts are returning or regifting one of the items. If you opt to return one, speak with the person who gave you the gift and let them know that you appreciate the gesture, however, you did receive two of the same item. Explain to them that you will be returning theirs to the store so that you can exchange it for something else. Ask them if this is okay. (Added note: Then ask them for the receipt.) In most cases, gift givers want you to be happy and satisfied with their gift so they will not be offended.

Your last option, regifting, must be handled delicately. Discretion is imperative. Only regift items to those individuals who are not within the same circle as the person who gave you the gift. The item must be new and in its original package.

Make sure you rewrap the item and include your own gift card. Also, don't regift just for the sake of clearing out some clutter. Make sure the person you are regifting to will actually like what's inside.

Properly thanking people is also important. For birthdays and general occasions, sending out thank you cards is only necessary if you haven't already thanked someone in person. For special occasions such as weddings and anniversaries, thank you cards are the proper way to thank someone for their gift - even if you have already spoken your words of gratitude. Thank you notes should always be handwritten and sent out promptly.

The last item of consideration is deciding who to gift to - particularly around Christmas time. As a general rule of thumb, you are usually only obligated to buy presents for those people that you have traditionally exchanged gifts with. If someone gives you a gift that you don't normally buy for, simply say thank you and tell them that you appreciate their thoughtfulness. Nothing more needs to be said. Maybe you can start a gift giving tradition with them or maybe not. Don't feel obligated to have to run out and buy them a gift.

By remembering the basics of gift giving etiquette, you will properly display your sincerity and gift giving flair without insulting, annoying or upsetting anyone.

Gifting is an art - follow these simple guidelines and you'll have a great part of it mastered.

© 2005, Kathy Burns-Millyard. Kathy is a professionally published freelance writer and stock photographer living in Southeast New Mexico. You'll find some of her best articles and reports on small business, motivation, and marketing in the Brain Dump section of the ElectronicPerceptions.com website. Please visit and enjoy!Article Source:

Comments:13 Replies - Latest reply on 2007-12-11
Posted by Nohandle on 2007-12-11:
Good informative Lid. I've always been one of those who thought a thank you card was a nice gesture even if it was not necessary. Unfortunately, many have forgotten the so called social graces or never were taught them. It takes so little effort to write a note thanking someone for going to the time, trouble and expense for a gift or a kindness. We've all received a note in the mail and know how much we appreciated it.

If I received identical gifts I don't think I personally would call someone and request a receipt. That's just me. Some stores still maintain a registry where brides or new mothers can swap out the gifts to balance out patterns or exchange sizes. I think the secret is finding one of those.
Posted by jktshff1 on 2007-12-11:
Liddy, ya forgot something. An alternative is donating duplicates or unwanted gifts to your favorite charity.
My suggestions:
Shrine Children's Hospitals
Your community Center for abused and battered women & children.
Local orphanage or children's home.

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-12-11:
Nohandle, I agree 100% and this is why I posted this because it seems people have forgot what it is all about. I would NEVER call someone myself and ask for a receipt but I guess that is old school now a day.

Good post, thank you
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-12-11:
jkt, Very good suggestions and me personally that is the only thing I would do with a gift that I didn't want or couldn't use is give it away to someone who can use it.

Thanks for the good idea's
Posted by jktshff1 on 2007-12-11:
Posted by Principissa on 2007-12-11:
jk another good charity to donate to is Toys For Tots, sponsored by the Marines. We do it every year. Any time we get duplicate gifts for the kids we always give the extra to Toys For Tots. This year we gave an Optimus Prime transformer and a Hotwheels video game.

Don't forget to give the gift receipts along with the gifts you are giving. And make sure to send Aunt Gertie a thank you card for the hideous poodle sweaters! Mom said it makes her year to see how much we care!
Posted by bigboxworker on 2007-12-11:
I skimmed through this piece very quickly and i don't know if you mentioned this but if you haven't please get gift reciepts for everything so we have less complaints about Target not returning merchandise without a reciept!!!!!!!!
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-12-11:
bigboxworker, it's the biggest reason I posted it and yes I added that in there.
Posted by jktshff1 on 2007-12-11:
Yea, TFT is a good one.
What you need to look at is the admin costs for the charity you are giving to. Meaning who is really getting the money?
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-12-11:
Don't forget about donating gifts to volunteer Fire & Rescue squads. We rely on donations to continue to do our jobs.

One of the best things you can donate to volunteers is brand new plush animals. Every year, we have people donate their used toys...we are not allowed to use them, and they are either wasted, or donated to thrift stores.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-12-11:
This is good information emt_c, I never knew that and volunteer Fire & Rescue squads are my favorit ones to give too because of what they do and I also know what I give will go to a real and good cause.
Posted by B. on 2007-12-11:
Good stuff and happy holidays or can I still say "Merry Christmas" these days.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-12-11:
Yes, you can, bargod. I wish you a Merry Christmas, as well.

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