It’s often said that a gesture speaks a thousand words—a thoughtful gift does just that. It’s not always about how much has been spent on the token of affection but the attention to details. Whether it’s about what you should be gifting or how you should be packing, our experts narrow down gifting etiquette to five rules.
1. Keep it personal…
A gift is something to remember you by so make it memorable by adding a personal touch. “A gift does not necessarily have to be expensive as long as it is personal and holds emotional value to both the receiver and giver,” says Tarun Khattar, customer & channels development director, Lucaris & Ocean Brands. The most important criteria is to ensure that the gift is relatable: “Make it relatable; no one wants just another product to keep aside. For instance, for someone who likes to travel, a scratch world map poster is the perfect gift where you scratch off the places you've travelled to,” explains Aman Hans, co-founder, Bigsmall.in.
2. …But not too personal!
It’s one thing to personalise a gift, it’s quite another to get overly familiar! For instance, unless it’s a loved one, items such as clothes and jewellery are best avoided. Rohina Anand Khira, CEO, AA Living suggests sticking to gifts that are generic. Her picks include skincare sets and advent calendars with surprises inside. “A lot of luxury brands are doing them and people love opening them! For home décor, I think geometric terrariums are generic but yet well appreciated,” she adds.
3. Focus on utility
In order to make your gift memorable, ensure that it scores on utility. This means items like souvenirs, religious idols and redundant appliances are to be steered clear of. “The joy of giving should be in making others happy. We are supposed to be giving gifts because we want to, not because it’s an obligation, the recipients will receive them in the same spirit,” says Khattar. He personally believes a pair of crystal wine glasses makes the perfect gift during the festive season, especially for wine lovers: “There is no better way to enjoy the celebrations around you. It’s how we appreciate cherished moments with our loved ones.”
Hans adds items such as a jewellery plate and mobile holder to the list, but ensure it’s a quality product—more so if you’re purchasing gifts online. “Read the product description, understand the specifications, look at images and be sure of the product before ordering. Another important thing to keep in mind is the timeline and order gifts well in advance as often delivery timelines cannot be controlled due to unforeseen reasons,” he advises.
4. Keep the packaging elegant
The Japanese have mastered the art of gift-wrapping; they believe the packaging is as important as the gift. Our experts concur. “Your gift wrapping should ensure that there’s no damage or breakage,” says Hans. “Secondly, it should packed in a manner that it's easy for the receiver to open it without creating a mess.” He also advises against the use of plastic materials that damage the environment. “Corrugated boxes are a good option, however, for items with awkward shapes, biodegradable carry bags work best.” In fact, even newspaper-wrapping is a great option if done neatly. Anand too stresses on the importance of keeping it eco-friendly: “These days brown paper packaging is very well received. Add a few metres of ribbon or string and it looks beautiful, plus is sustainable.”
5. A note on notes
There’s nothing like a note to accompany your gift. Khattar believes a note should always be handwritten, personal and memorable: “It should reflect the emotions behind the choice of the gift and what it means to the people giving and receiving them.” Hans is in absolute agreement as he puts it a nutshell: “While handwriting notes maybe time-consuming, it doubles the value of the gift and makes your gift truly memorable.”