The Art Of Gift Giving

When you give a gift, it should be given without expecting anything in return. We all know this to be the golden rule of gifting. Giving a gift to someone is a way to show them that they are valued, that you appreciate them. It shows a generosity of spirit. When you stinge on gifts people notice.

Its ok to make a few missteps but when you consistently forget to gift you come across as mean-spirited, stingy and worse considered to be lacking in manners. It doesn’t always have to be a big expensive gift or a big gesture instead a small token is as appreciated. When you give a thoughtful gift, wrapped beautifully, it will reflect your taste, personal style, and refinement.

Today I share with you a little primer on gifting etiquette.

If you are clueless about when to give a gift here is our gift etiquette guide for you. These are all the occasions that one should ideally give a gift.

1. Invitation to visit someone’s home for the first time

2.  Invitation to someone’s home for a meal or a party – Give the hostess or host a thank you gift.

3.  Invitation to your  child  to their friend’s home for a playdate – Carry a little something for the other child

4.Invitation to a celebration such as a Birthday party, Anniversary, Birth of a newborn, a baby shower, a wedding, farewell party, a housewarming, new job, graduation etc. warrants a gift to the person being celebrated.

5. At the office – Celebrate a colleague’s birthday, promotion, wins in your team. You aren’t expected to give a gift but giving a little-handwritten card is a thoughtful touch. It’s also a good idea to show your appreciation to your immediate team and your boss by choosing to give small token gifts during Christmas or Diwali or New Year. Choose your holiday but do this only if you can be consistent. If not sending a nice card is a good idea. Doing it one year and not going doing it the next isn’t a good idea.

And finally

If you receive a gift, say a warm and gracious thank you and make sure to send a thank you note, handwritten card or by email by the next day.

When invited to a party or dinner or celebration, do thank your host even if it’s via a text message. And if you went to a kiddie birthday party and got a return gift back for your child do make sure to say thank you. Just like gifting not saying thank you shows poor manners.

Some gifting  ideas for you:

Pampering Gifts: Hand cream, Soaps, Bath salts, Body Washes, Face Masks, luxurious and beautifully packaged body creams, Body oils, These are little indulgences, small luxuries.


For the Home: Scented Candles, Linen spray, Pretty closet liners, Perfumed sachets for the closets. Homemade or Homegrown goodies like squashes, jams, chutneys, pickles. Home baked goodies like banana bread, fruit cakes wrapped in simple brown paper and tied with a colorful ribbon.They are also excellent hostess gifts.


Homegrown veggies or fruit – If you have a backyard garden or a fruit tree which has produced in abundance, or have a farm. Then that’s a pleasant gift too for family and friends when you visit. Wrap well or put it in a cute basket.

Customised Stationery – Beautifully designed paper goods are a weakness for me and many of my friends, even if you cant customise it, giving beautiful stationery like notebooks, table calendars, notepads and more are lovely gifts.

Books – Gorgeous coffee table books, fiction or fiction books are another great idea for gifts.

Go Green – Flowers, Plants, Planters. A small plant for your boss’s desk is cool as for other colleagues.

For Kids – Choose age-appropriate gifts. For young kids under 6, Crayons or coloring pens, coloring books, puzzles, story books, pencil sets all work well. As do lunch boxes, water bottles – pls make it BPA friendly or in stylish steel like the one from Lunch bots. All these are good gifts for a visiting child, playdates, and Xmas. Even healthy treats or snacks sent along to a play date is thoughtful. Small toys, DIY sets, a bubble gun, inflatable toys is also a hit with kids. For older kids book or tech toys may be a good idea. If its a birthday then make sure to ask the parents what the kid is into these days.



If its a special celebration give it a little thought. Think about what the pers

on would like especially when gifting for family or close friends.

Finally remember a box of chocolates, a bottle of wine, flowers, candles all work. It always the thought that matters. Giving a great gift is an art and one that is selfless.


One of my favorite gift guides is from Goop. Click the link here and search through their gift guides for chic ideas. For more posts on etiquette click here

Image Credits: Cover Image, Candle, Soap, Hand Cream, Nyassa Room Fragrance, chutneys, desktop calendar, Eat Beautiful Book, Inflatable Float, Lunchbox.