It’s that time of year again where some of us will have to deal with picking and giving gifts. But whether it’s a Christmas present for a close friend or a simple end-of-year gift for colleagues or a long-time client, it’s all too easy for us to lose perspective about picking the right gift. Sure, a tacky present might be good for a couple of laughs during conversation, but we all want our gifts to make a good impression, right? So, perhaps these tips might help us avoid an embarrassing faux pas or two this year...

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1. Watch how much you spend on a gift...
Nobody wants to be seen as a cheapskate, but overspending can also make the recipient feel uncomfortable. And it’s not just the amount of money you spend—a personalized gift that obviously takes a lot of time and effort might be touching, but can create a sense of obligation just the same. Yes, this can be quite a tricky issue, but perhaps what we all should remember is that gift giving should never be a tit-for-tat exchange.

2. Be very careful when regifting...
Passing on something that was once gifted to you might not be wrong per se, but it can be somewhat of a minefield. The biggest mistake would be to regift something to the person who originally gave it to you, but there are many smaller mistakes that could happen. So, make sure that the gift doesn’t have your name on it, or that there’s a greeting card addressed to you slipped in the original packaging. Also, don’t make it too obvious that you’re simply passing along something you don’t want: not everything can be regifted...

3. Avoid practical gifts...
Gifts—especially for festive occasions—should be something that the recipient wouldn’t buy for themselves. Practical or utilitarian things can simply feel a bit too impersonal. There are exceptions, of course, but in general, this is a category best avoided. Same thing with gifts that hint to the recipient that they need a bit of self-improvement. A diet book might be useful, but can also cause hurt feelings.

4. Also avoid corporate gifts...
Not all gift-giving occasions are marketing opportunities, even when it’s something for a client or business partner. For Christmas or New Year, a gift with your company’s logo on it might not always be such a great idea.

5. Finally, avoid trends...
Have you ever seen an ad with claims like, “This is what every woman wants this holiday season”? Yeah, this is another category you should definitely stay away from. Not only are these claims often inaccurate, picking the gifts being advertised can also give the impression that you—the gift giver—thinks that the recipient has the same taste as everybody else. And that’s definitely not the message we want to send out, right?

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Image Copyright:
maridav / 123RF Stock Photo
ferli / 123RF Stock Photo
ximagination / 123RF Stock Photo

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