Gifts are an important in our relationships and social life. So choosing and presenting the perfect gift is a social skill, but it is also an art. A gift is a present, something freely given, without expecting payment in return, and although one some kind of recoprocity can be expected, one should not take it for granted, certainly.

Choosing a gift requires generosity, sensitivity and common sense, because a present is not all about the money.

The first rule when choosing a gift is to think about the person who will receive it. The present should be something liked, or at least needed. Because an element of surprise adds thrill when receiving the gift, detective work to discover likes and dislikes should be carried out. We don't want to give away our intention nor ask openly about personal tastes. This is more important the closer the relationship between givers and the receivers. This careful research shows we care, and we make an effort to satisfy their tastes. The gift also says something about the giver, so this careful choice will place you in a better light. Your thoughtfulness will be appreciated.

The wrap is the first impression received from a gift, so wrap presents always, and, by all means, be creative.

When presenting your gift, do not boast about price or quality. Material cost is not the most important part of a present, but the price must be taken into account. As it is likely that the person receiving the present will try to reciprocate, a gift should not be something beyond his or her means. It is also a poor show of manners to give something you received as a present.

Personal items are given only to close relationships. Pets are only given if specifically requested. Money is not a very imaginative present, but it is one always well received. Place money in an envelope or, better; accompany that envelope with a small box of sweets.

Unhappily, there are always some who will only care about the price tag.

For social occasions, flowers, chocolates, and sweets are always a good option. If giving flowers, add a handwritten note with your message.

Presents are expected in certain dates or events, but the best presents are those unexpected and without an apparent reason.

Receiving a gift

Open the present immediately if the giver is present and say thank you. Always say thank you, even if the giver was not there. Say it, over the phone, by chat or email, or send a written note.

If you are receiving more than one present, thank everyone with the same enthusiasm. In public, do not show your preference for one item over the other, even if one present was disappointing, and don't mention anything about the price.

If receiving flowers, place them in a vase with water straight away. If receiving chocolates, open the box and offer some to everyone.

When receiving wine or dessert, especially from your guests for dinner, you are not expected to serve them in place of the ones you had chosen, but it will be nice if you if you do, replacing the wine and sweets you had selected or along them.


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