Gift Giving Etiquette

Thank you notes are not necessary if you thanked the giver in person when you opened the gift. It is nice to do, but it is not required. Wedding gifts are an exception. It is always best to send a hand written note, if you were not able to thank someone in person. E-mail notes are not preferred, but are better than nothing.

It is okay to give gifts to people who do not celebrate the same holidays that you do because it is always nice to give gifts. Just do not proselytize your religion with your gift.

Giving gift cards is acceptable now. It is better than giving money.

A host is not required to use gifts guests bring to a party. Guests are not required to bring anything, unless asked. Do not feel like you have to bring a hostess gift to every party you attend.

You do not have to give a gift that has the same monetary value as a gift that was given to you. Make a list of people you want to give to and figure out how much you can afford to spend on each. Going into debt to give lavish gifts is not appropriate.

When someone gives you a gift, but you were not planning on giving them one just say: “Thank you.” Do not make excuses why you are not giving one and don’t say you’ll have something for them tomorrow.

When you give a gift include the gift receipt. It says to a person: “I thought you would like this, but feel free to take it back if you like.”

If you receive a gift you do not like, do not re-gift it. Take it back to the store.

If you are invited to a wedding, birthday party, graduation party, etc. and do not go, you do not have to send a gift.