Gifting Tips and Etiquette

Opening my mailbox last week I found an eclectic array of notably packaged wedding invitations with perfectly crested seals of gold at the center of their back, and immaculate calligraphic prints on their face.  Signing onto my Facebook account my notifications and events blast my glowing screen inviting me to the birthday collaborations of my nearest and dearest friends.  This past summer, joining my own celebration of my newest precious soul, I was asked to attend an astounding amount of baby showers.  To each of these events it is obviously understood that I promptly arrive dressed my best with a perfectly picked gift in hand.  With so many events it’s important to be conscious of your pocket and considerate of each unique recipient.  Listed are some tips to help when considering these special acts of gifting.

What Do They Want?  Do not waste money on a gift that is not wanted, or will not be used.  I will never forget during my wedding shower receiving five beautiful and intricate crystal bowls from five separate guests which fit perfect in the double palms of my hands.  To this day, nearly ten years later, these bowls still rest in their allotted boxes at the bottom of my china cabinet.  All the while, I spent years trying to collect the appliances and home decor I had originally needed to create a functioning household for my husband and I.

I always make sure to ask the guest of honor for their amazon wish list or where to find their gift registry, I want to make sure what I purchase is something that will be utilized and not collecting dust for the next decade in a cabinet.  

Consider Other Gifters.  Nothing is more frustrating to me than having a duplicate gift.  One particular instance was a wedding shower for one of my best friends from childhood.  Having received so much that was never used from my own shower I obviously went to print off her registry at Target.  I purchased her the Foreman grill she specifically selected with the dark crimson red kitchen towels she had requested.  For fun I threw in a little cheap fortune teller cooking mitt since we used to craft those so much as kids.  I made a point to tell the cashier to remove my gifts from her registry and double check no one had purchased them in the hour I had spent roaming the aisles of Target.

When I arrived to the shower the first gift opened was from her boss, It was the very George Foreman grill I had purchased her, in a thick redneck twang his wife proudly proclaimed, ” We found it online for cheaper than Target!”  Three gifts in she finds another box from her boss of course, when she opens it she finds the same crimson kitchen towels I had purchased three-fold!  It was discouraging to say the least, that I as a shopgirl who was strapped for cash had poured so much thought and money into the gift for my dear friend, only to have my efforts made inessential by another inconsiderate guest.

If you happen to find a better deal online or in store that is great, but take the extra step then to contact the host or the location of the registry itself of your purchase so changes can be made in consideration of other attendees.

A Tip to Frugal Gifting.  Growing up, my mom worked doubly hard to make ends meet.  One day we received an invitation to the wedding of a cousin who lived in another town.  Mom decided to send a gift as consolation to our absence.  When we finally made the time to shop off their Dillard’s registry we struggled to find anything for less than a 100+ dollars.  It seemed all the more affordable items such as the salt and pepper shakers had been long since purchased by other guests.

I personally make it a rule of thumb that when I hear of an engagement or new addition I personally contact the lucky future recipients at my earliest convinience to ask when and where they will be registering, obtaining the list as soon as it is posted will assure a wider selection of options for gifting.  When the registry is revealed I pick one medium priced item in the range of 50-80 dollars, and then an accompanying item or two that are in the 5-20 dollar range.  

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