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How to Give & Receive Gifts

Learn how to give and receive gifts from manners expert Faye de Muyshondt in this Howcast video.


Hi, I'm Faye de Muyshondt from Socialskilz, here to talk with you about how to give and receive gifts. So, in terms of giving gifts, first of all, it's one of the most fun things you can do. It takes time, yes of course, but it's probably one of the best feelings you can get is giving a gift to someone, particularly if you're giving a gift that's meaningful. So, if you're giving a gift to someone who is important in your life try and be thoughtful and try to make it really count. So if someone that you know loves the color red, for example, get them something red. Or if they're a teacher, get something that would be helpful in their everyday professional life.

And giving a gift isn't necessarily about the money. It can be a token gift. It can be something that's just to say I adore you or something that's thoughtful. And it adds so much to a friendship or a relationship. Even if it's a small gift, you can make it really special. A small gift is really meaningful if it has some sort of meaning to someone. Also, you can take a small gift and present it in a beautiful way. So for example, rather than just giving the gift itself, you can wrap it up. You can present it in a really special way for someone. So, if you can be thoughtful the gift and you know the person, that's probably the most fun.

There's also the situation where you might not know the person very well and you're going to, for example, a party or to a dinner party. In that case, you want to get something that's a little bit more generic and the whole idea is that a gift is something that you're giving to someone. It doesn't necessarily have to do with how much you spent on it. And you can make it more meaningful by the way you present it, by the way you wrap it, by the way you tie it up, by the way you put it in an envelope, by the card that you give someone. So much of a gift is just the thoughtfulness behind it.

In terms of receiving gifts, of course you want to express your thanks to someone no matter how big or small the gift is, you want to be sure that you say thank you. As you say thank you, make your eye contact. Be sure that you thank them for the gift specifically. So rather than thanks, it's thank you so much for this beautiful bottle of wine. I'll really enjoy it. So giving it a little bit more meaning as you express your thanks upon receiving a gift.

In some cases when you receive a gift, you'll want to send a thank you note as well. You might send your thank you via email. You might send your thank you via a card. But most importantly, don't forget to send the thank you note. Now, you might not necessarily send a thank you note or send a thank you email for something a little bit casual or something on the smaller side, but if someone goes out of their way to give you a gift for your birthday or to give you a gift for your graduation, I'd suggest sending a thank you either by email or snail mail. The bottom line is that someone went out of their way to give you a gift and you want to express thanks. So whether it's in person, a genuine thank you, whether it's via email or whether it's via snail mail, make sure that you acknowledge the thoughtfulness and the gift and say thank you.

You might also find yourself in the situation where you get a gift that you either have or really can't stand. In that case, I would suggest just saying thank you for the gift in a meaningful way, as meaningful as you possibly can make it, but you don't want to get into any details of not liking the gift or that you already have it or anything else along those lines because the bottom line is someone has done something really thoughtful, taken the time out of their day to give you a gift and you just want to express thanks. There's no need to bring up the fact that you don't like it or the fact that you already have it. Those are a few tips on how to give and receive gifts.

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