Christmas gift etiquette

We’ve all had that ‘uh oh’ moment where we don’t like a gift and don’t know what to say, or don’t have anything to give in return. Hopefully these expert tips will help you avoid those awkward exchanges.

Not every Christmas gift is well received. Decisions about who to shop for and what to buy can make the holiday season even more stressful.

Luckily etiquette expert, Wendy Mencel, is here to help. When gifting to coworkers, she says it’s impolite to pick and choose. In a small office, you should give to everyone, or no one.

For service people, Mencel suggests doubling your typical gratuity. “Look at the frequency of service and remember that the people you’re going to be giving a gift to or tipping are people that make your life a lot easier.”

If finances are tight, go for a card instead of a gift card. And on the receiving end- be gracious, even if you hate the present. “The intent of the gift is from the heart, so whether you like it or not I think you have to hide your emotion if you’re disappointed, and say thank you and be very heartfelt.”

Even Santa says it’s okay to tell a little white lie for the sake of Christmas. What about when someone gets a gift that they don’t like? What should they do? “Keep their mouth shut” laughs the big guy “Just accept it. Take in the spirit in which it was meant.”

And that brings us to the regift. “You have to be very very careful” says Wendy Mencel. “So when you receive a gift that you don’t think you’ll use, make a note of who gave it to you before you regift.”

With the right gift, for the right person, even regifting isn’t totally taboo.


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stan says:

Regifting can open up a minefield if you don’t remember who originally gifted it to you.