Monday, November 9, 2009

Etiquette For Gift Giving

With hectic Black Friday (the biggest shopping day of the year) coming up, I see it fitting to give a little etiquette lesson to anyone buying gifts for people, especially on that day. I've acquired little bits of information from my job, mistakes as a gift giver, and from receiving gifts. This is what I know:

1. Always give a gift receipt. Always!
Even if the person specifically asked for the item you are purchasing, so you know they want it, get a gift receipt. They may have already purchased it for themselves, or someone else may have. No one wants duplicates.

2. If they made a registry, use it!
Nothing is more frustrating than knowing that all the time you've spent making a registry was useless. The recipient will get double of things they didn't want in the first place. I've seen many an angry bride from this one! I registered for some power tools for my wedding. Yep! A lot of people were critical of me for it, but I HAD most of the servingware I needed! Thank you to my two cousins for sticking to my registry! You guys are awesome!

3. Just because you like something, doesn't mean someone else will!
Though it's cute, I hate watching elderly ladies bring up ugly Christmas sweaters for their teenage daughters. Yes, it would look cute on you, but your granddaughter's friends will make fun of her for wearing it. Don't embarrass her!

4. If you re-gift, make sure the original gift giver doesn't find out!
Re-gift in a different friend or family circle. Of course, if you have the original gift receipt, all the better!

5. If someone gives you specific details for a gift list, don't take artistic freedom with it.
Oh man, I've got tons of funny stories on this one, but I won't go into details. Basically, listen for brands, models, colors, etc. If someone takes the time to list specifics, then it must be important. Pay attention to them!

6. Don't make fun of what someone wants for a gift (or call it stupid).
Not only is it rude and tacky, but there's a decent chance that the person wanting the gift will find out and broadcast your tackiness all over the internet. Haha, this one's for me =)

7. Always get a card.
We all know that kids don't really care about the cards, but some parents keep them. I've kept all my kids cards from their 1st birthdays, baptisms, baby showers, etc. It may help them remember loved ones that have passed.

8. Try, try, try to be punctual!
Nothing says "I don't care" more than a late gift. Did you forget?

9. Gift cards are ONLY for extended family or distant friends.
My uncle gave me a gift card for Menards once. Can you imagine how giddy I was? It was like letting a kid loose in a candy store. I loved it!
Now if my mom would have done the same....not so much.
Your mom doesn't want a gift card to Younkers on her birthday, she wants you to have a mother/daughter or mother/son shopping day at Younkers. Be classy, people!

10. And lastly, if someone returns a gift, don't get upset.
Maybe you didn't follow these rules, maybe they just didn't need it. Yes, there could be a chance that the outfit you picked out is hideous to them. So what? Get over it, because it's the thought and love that count, right?

I hope this aids everyone with such a wonderful holiday (and shopping event!) coming up. And remember: Be kind to the store associates!!

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