Gift Etiquette – what to buy, what not to buy and how to gift

Featured here is a selection of questions I have been asked recently regarding gift giving etiquette followed by my answers. If you would like to ask a question, please do so via comments.

How to avoid lack of attendance at a themed dress-up party – Q

Themed parties are great fun and create some magnificent memorable photos for future generations to enjoy, but there is a down-side. If a themed party means guests have to go out and buy, make or hire costumes that can put them off coming altogether as not everyone likes dressing-up, not everyone has the time to source

My GF dictates what she wants for a gifts, is this right? Q

I would like to surprise my girlfriend with a birthday gift, but she always complains about what I buy her and now she just tells me what she wants and if I don’t get it exactly right she still complains. Is this right? A: I have my thoughts on this but for now I

How do you politely refuse a gift on ethical grounds? Q

I am Vegan and I’ve been given a Food themed gift basket – how do I refuse it without causing offence? A: Refusing gifts is generally considered the height of bad manners and creates bad feeling between the gift giver and the recipient. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes and try to imagine how

Gift Ideas for friends moving away – you may not see again Q

Trendy BFF Keepsake Binder Q: My best friend is moving away, too far for me to visit, what gift can I give her to show her how much I love her. A: I think the best gifts in such cases are ones which celebrate the time you have shared together and that act as mementos

Is it ok to keep gifts your ex bought you when you’re seeing someone new? Q

Wowzer, there are so many variations of this question, and it is such a common source of relationship strife. Talking from experience, if I kept a gift from an ex it was because the item in question was one I liked. I didn’t keep it because it held sentimental value. One such item is a ring which is

Should I buy my ex a birthday gift? Q

Q: I have remained friends with my ex-boyfriend, ex-girlfriend, should I still buy him / her a birthday present? A: I would say No, a card will suffice unless you’re attending some formal party celebration in which case a bottle of wine or some food for the party as a polite gesture is as much as

Gift Ideas for Students moving into a Dorm – Q

Q: What is a really good gift idea for a student who is moving away from home to live in a dorm or rooms? A: Space is often very limited for students living away from home as often they move into a dorm or shared accommodation and they may have to share a room. As

Vow renewal gift registry ‘to have or not to have’ that is the question – Q

Q: I’m having a vow renewal ceremony and wonder if it’s ok for me to include a gift registry with the invitations? A: In terms of gift etiquette you wouldn’t have a gift registry for a vow renewal as it is generally understood you had wedding gifts the first time around. This won’t be the

Gift Etiquette For Bridal Shower – Q

Q: I’ve been invited to a bridal shower, I’ve never been to one before do I bring a gift? A: Traditionally a bridal shower is for the brides nearest and dearest female family members or friends all of whom have been invited to the wedding. Assuming you fall into one of those categories a gift is

I have an online friend what gift can I send them – Q

Q: I want to send my online friend (we’re in love even though we’ve never met) a gift, what gift ideas are there for someone you’ve not met before and I can send through post? A: Be very careful about sending gifts to anyone you have never met. If you haven’t watched the US TV

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