A holiday gift-giving etiquette? Isn’t it enough to give gifts, one has to follow a gifting etiquette as well? Well, yes, sorry to say, there is such a thing as a holiday gift-giving etiquette, aimed at making sure that you don’t offend someone with your gift. And here’s how it works.


What To Give Whom?

So many people cross our lives and whether we know it or not, they all expect something come Christmas. It’s not just your family and friends, but you have to think of your boss, co-workers and random service providers such as your baby sitter.

  • Service Providers: If you know the service provider personally, give a thoughtful gift along with a generous Christmas tip. If it’s a business relationship, such as with a building superintendent, offer a generous Christmas tip and that should do.
  • Office Co-workers: Those who work closely with you are worthy of thoughtful, personal gifts. Even if you aren’t close them, get something they can use, such as a stylish organizer, a vintage pen or iPad cover.
  • Boss: Something tasteful and expensive-looking, such as a pure leather binder, a collector’s item pen or a classy table clock. It helps to know what your boss likes (or definitely dislikes), before buying your gift. Also make sure that you’re not getting the same thing that other team members are – you want your boss to remember your gift.

Don’t Send The Wrong Message

You may want to impress your boss with a really pricey gift, but remember that this might make your boss feel you’re sucking up. Keep your gift tasteful, expensive-looking but within limits. Also when it comes to your co-workers of the opposite sex, be sure your gifts cannot be misconstrued to imply sexual interest. For example, if you are male, don’t gift a bottle of sexy perfume to a female co-worker just because you know she likes it. Also avoid buying vouchers for spa treatments, as your recipient might feel it’s because they look bad. Avoid buying alcohol for a co-worker too, unless you’re sure that person drinks and will appreciate your gift.

Don’t Give Gifts While In The Office

If you’re buying gifts for everyone at work, it’s ok to hand them out at work. However, if you’re gifting only a few of them, take them out to lunch and then gift them. This is especially important if you’re a team lead or manager. You don’t want to create bad blood. Also make sure your gifts are equal in value; you can be sure your recipients will compare gifts! Also, if your office has a Christmas gift-giving custom, follow it. If there’s no custom, don’t create a new one that others aren’t comfortable with.

Remember To Thank Your Gifter

If someone who’s not on your Christmas gifting list gives you an unexpected gift, don’t stand there blubbering. Thank them for thinking of you. You don’t have to run and reciprocate in kind, but you can if you want to. Just don’t embarrass or insult the giver by refusing the gift because you didn’t get anything for him or her.

Don’t Offend Anyone With Your Gift

Gifting your annoying co-worker a funny coffee mug with ‘Jackass’ written on it might seem hilarious to you, but it won’t, to him. People tend to remember these insults for a long time. Again, don’t buy a pair of weighing scales for a person who’s trying to lose weight, even if you know they don’t have a pair of scales at home. Christmas is the time for sharing joys, not increasing one’s frustration; so stay away from gifts that annoy, offend or cause grief.

Contributor Teena writes for Australia’s well known adventure booking agent Adrenaline, which provides some fabulous gift ideas perfectly tailored to make any adventure junkie happy!