Gift-Giving Pitfalls

Inappropriate gifts

Don’t send your grandmother an off colour comedy tape (unless she’s a huge fan). Don’t give gifts that people can be offended by such as a weight-loss book to a stoutish sister. And don’t give gifts that are obviously second-rate: sweaters with hanging threads or kitchen gadgets in banged-up boxes.

Remember that young people grow and change their interests very rapidly from an older person’s slow moving point of view. Little Sam is no longer a nine year-old keen on books about dinosaurs – he is fourteen and wants the latest Arctic Monkeys music for his MP3 player.

Re-gifting

Is it okay for me to re-gift? This should be done only rarely, and under specific criteria:

  • You are certain the gift is something the recipient would enjoy.
  • The gift is brand new (no cast-offs allowed) and comes with its original box and instructions.
  • The gift isn’t handmade, or one that the original giver took great care to select.

Simply put, you have to make sure you don’t hurt feelings—neither those of the original giver nor the recipient. Would your cousin mind if you passed those wine glasses along?
Does the original sender know the recipient? Might they have given them the same thing?
Will they see that their present has been re-located? Would it be awkward if the giver and recipient realized what was happening?

Only you can decide whether to re-gift – and how to do so appropriately. Think through each situation carefully: if you’re in doubt, don’t do it. You can always pass along the holiday spirit by donating the gift to charity .

The Same Old Same Old

Your brother-in-law is a golfer so you give him golf balls every year. Your aunt Susan collects early nineteenth century French glass and you know exactly which antiques market to go to in order to pick up a piece. This year, think outside the box and mix it up. It’s likely your brother-in-law is happy to get more golf balls, but he’d probably be even more thrilled with something a little different this year. Take the time to find out what the people you care about are truly interested in.

Gift-Giving Pitfalls was last modified: April 17th, 2008 by admin
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