Gift Giving Etiquette: when we Breathe Appreciation into the Gift

We are approaching the month of mass gift-giving, both private and business. The hassles that individuals face when buying gifts are at their greatest during this festive season. The best solution is to listen to people beforehand and choose little things for them. In this way, we will let them know that we listened carefully when they talked about what makes them happy the most.  Carefully chosen little things, with a personal touch, are worth more than expensive gifts bought at the last minute. 

Gift Giving Etiquette Guidelines

There are a whole bunch of guidelines and standards when it comes to gift-giving etiquette. Knowing just the essentials can make shopping easier and save us time, energy and money. It’s about choosing the right gift for the right person, giving it at the right time, in the right way and in the right measure. 

When choosing a gift, let’s be personal, imaginative and original. Give people an experience and never embarrass them by giving them gifts that are too expensive. In the business world, strategy is extremely important and should be given more attention by companies. We need to ask ourselves who our recipients are, what kind of relationship we have with them and what the purpose of the gift is. 

Personalized gift
When choosing a gift, there should be a personal touch

If we don’t have a strategy in place, if we don’t keep records carefully, it’s easy to end up making last-minute purchases just to hand something over to our business partners. Any such purchase will be misguided because it is not well thought out and targeted. Unfortunately, many people still do not distinguish between promotional and corporate gifts

The more time we spend on choosing a gift, the more the recipient will enjoy it and the more they will remember us. In a time when everyone is constantly rushing somewhere, a carefully chosen gift opens many doors. A business gift that is original is much more appreciated. 

The gift is important, but let’s not forget the packaging. It’s the first thing we see, so it’s worth making a little effort. Make it appropriate and neat. But make sure that the packaging is not more expensive than the gift itself.

The Right Moment and Way: the Art of Gift Giving

In addition to the content that is delivered, the timing and manner of delivery is also important. Let’s do our best to give the gift with the right hand. Look the recipient in the eye, say a few words about the gift you are giving and why this particular gift is for them. Be cautious where gifts may be prepared to your superiors by others. Provide information about what is being handed over, to avoid embarrassment.

Gift giving
We have to give the gift at the right moment and in the right way

On the other hand, we accept the gift with both hands. Let’s take a few moments to listen to what the giver has to say about the gift. Look at the gift immediately, look into the eyes of the other person and, with a smile on your face, say a sincere thank you.  

If we receive several gifts at the same time, we may not be able to open them all at once and leave this pleasant task for later. Let’s focus on the people. Keep the gifts in a visible place. If we do not manage to open them, we will do so later and thank them in writing.

What to Avoid When Gifting

Inappropriate gifts are those that tell the recipient that we expect a favour or something in return. Sending promotional gifts in order to expedite business arrangements is acceptable. Otherwise, it is somehow established that we do not give gifts until the business arrangements have been finalised. Inappropriate value of the gift and giving it at an inappropriate time may be seen as a form of bribery, so attention will not be overlooked. 

Cup for tea
Do not give gifts with the intention of receiving a favor or something in return

Let’s avoid saying “You don’t have to”. “Why are you incurring costs?”. Such words make the charm of giving disappear. A simple thank you is enough

I hope you have thought carefully about the purpose of corporate gift giving in your company and that your December gifts are ready.

Simona Lečnik Očko, expert and consultant in business etiquette, protocol and communication. Head and founder of Lumia – Academy of Values 

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