Unspoken Gift-Giving Etiquette Rules

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Buying gifts can be tricky. Not only do you want to choose something the person will like, but you need to make sure it’s appropriate for the recipient and the occasion.

Different people and celebrations will require different gifts, and it’s hard to know sometimes what is and isn’t OK. Should you include a gift receipt?

How much should you spend on a wedding gift? Is it ever OK to not give a gift at all? Find out the answers to these questions and more gift-giving etiquette rules before wrapping your next present.

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Don’t Ask People What They Want

Unless you’re shopping for family members or very close friends, you shouldn’t ask people what they want as a gift for a birthday or other occasion. This can make the recipient feel uncomfortable, and also shows your lack of creativity.

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Do Buy Off the Registry

In general, you shouldn’t ask someone for a gift wish list, but in the case of weddings and baby showers, people will typically provide a list for you. If a gift registry is available, you should buy something off of it. This way, you know you’re giving the recipient something they want and will like.

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A Gift Receipt Is Always a Good Idea

If you’re buying someone an expensive gift or an item of clothing, including the gift receipt is a smart move. This gives the recipient the flexibility to make an exchange for something that’s a better fit or more to their taste so that your money doesn’t go to waste if they don’t like the gift.

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If You’re Giving a Gift Card, Always Present It With a Note

Gift cards can seem impersonal, but when given with a thoughtful card or note explaining why you thought it was a perfect gift, it shows that you were thinking of the recipient when you bought it and not just taking the easy way out.

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Before You Give Your Boss a Gift, Check Your Company’s Policy

Companies have different policies about who can and cannot give and receive gifts, and some companies won’t allow managers to receive gifts from their employees. Before you buy a gift for your boss, make sure he or she can accept it to avoid a potentially awkward situation.



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