The Etiquette of Gift-Giving

Some people are thoughtful gift-givers, others not so much. When you gift someone it's important to leave a good impression. Here are some guidelines to help you avoid gifts that are inappropriate.


Never give items like a coupon book or toothbrush. They are lacking in thought.

Don't give items such as handkerchiefs, underwear, and socks because they are too personal.

Don't embarrass the recipient or other gift-givers at a party, maybe a baby shower, by spending too much money on a gift.

Never gift a pet to someone until you've gotten approval from a responsible adult.

Don't give gifts that are crass and embarrassing, like a whoopee cushion.

Alcoholic beverages are a no-no for someone who avoids liquor.

Avoid gifting personal items to casual acquaintances.

Never gift anyone with items like adult toys, videos, or joke cards.

Avoid perfumes or any scent product as your gift until you know their tastes.

Don't give chocolates or any kind of candies or cookies to someone trying to lose weight.

A very pricey gift to an employee may look like favoritism in the workplace.

Don't buy anything of cheap quality. It's insulting.

Don't gift someone with an item that is not their style or taste.

If someone is traveling by public transportation (plane, train, cruiseliner), avoid gifts that are too unwieldy or easily breakable.

Don't give a very expensive gift to a client that you are brokering a deal with.

Avoid gifting items that are contraband, stolen, or fenced.

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Oliver says...

What do Caribbean people hate to find in their mailboxes?


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