Ever been in an awkward gift situation? Whether on the giving or receiving end, there are ways these situations can be avoided or diminished.
So let’s say you’re looking for the perfect gift: You think you’ve found it, you give it, and…Yikes, they don’t like it.
On the other side, let’s say you receive a gift: You have high expectations, you open it, and…Yikes, you’re disappointed.
So now here’s the set-up for the perfect gift: The giver has a generous, kind, and thoughtful attitude; and the receiver has a humble, nice, and grateful attitude. Without even knowing what the gift is, you can tell that the perfect gift is given and received in this scenario. It’s all about Grace and Gratitude.
A gift always involves two parties, the giver and the receiver. So if even one side can get it right, this will avoid most, if not all, awkward moments. Here are 3 easy rules of thumb for gift-giving and gift-receiving that will make for perfect gift etiquette every time:
Three Tips for being a Great Gift Giver:
1. Don’t give under duress. Think about your gift giving as an act of joy and kindness and don’t worry about the rest. Stay within your budget, think good thoughts, and have well-wishes for the recipient.
2. Remember, it’s called a gift, not a loan. If you’re giving with “strings attached”, the receiver will sense it and you might not get the reaction you were hoping for. Give gracefully and expect nothing in return. And please don’t worry about what someone will do with your gift. Once a gift is given, it’s not yours anymore.
3. Try to give something personalized. The idea behind gift giving is to show someone you care; that there was some thought and consideration behind the gift. So giving a gift that has been personally requested or a gift that has been personalized with a name or initials is a safe bet for showing your thoughtfulness. Our Letter Art products are a good example of using someone’s name to create such a gift.
Three Tips for being a Great Gift Receiver:
1. Have a grateful attitude. Being grateful is the opposite of feeling entitled. If you feel that the things you receive are unexpected and even undeserved, well then you will probably love every gift you get and people will love to give them to you.
2. Give grace instead of expecting perfection. Maybe someone didn’t exactly hit a home run with their gift, but believe that they at least tried and appreciate the effort. If you’ve exclaimed some negative reactions to gifts in the past, try turning over a new leaf. People who love you shouldn’t have to dread and fear giving gifts!
3. Let go of that feeling of anxiety. Some people have a hard time receiving gifts. Just take a deep breath and allow yourself to receive the gesture of kindness; and replace that awkward feeling with a warm fuzzy feeling.
If you have ever given a gift and not liked the reaction; or if you have received a gift and questioned the judgment of the giver, think about grace and gratitude. Remember, Grace gives people the benefit of the doubt, and Gratitude never feels “deserving” of more!
Operating with Grace and Gratitude is actually a good idea for every interaction, not just gift giving. It means doing your best and knowing others are doing their best as well. It means operating from a place of kindness and generosity regardless of someone else’s behavior.
What do you think? Let us know if you’ve ever found yourself in the middle of an awkward gift situation and what was done to solve it.