As you find yourself making your list and checking it twice, take a peek at some commonly asked Holiday Gift Giving questions.
Q: What is the first thing I should do upon receiving a holiday gift?
A: Before ripping the paper and diving into the holiday gift box, remember to make eye contact with the gift giver and smile, taking time to read and acknowledge the card before opening the present. Speaking of cards, remember to keep a stock of blank holiday cards handy. If you have extra wrapped gifts in your gift closet, attach a card to each gift so that you are always prepared. When an unexpected guest arrives bearing gifts of glad tidings, slip into the other room, sign the gift card and present your gift with confidence and joy.
Q: What should I do if someone gives me a gift that I do not like?
A: Great question! This is bound to happen, if it has not already. Remember the sentiment behind the gift, appreciating the effort that was put into the purchase and the wrapping rather than focusing on the fruitcake or bad holiday sweater staring at you from the gift box. Unless you are very close friends or immediate family, do not ask for a gift receipt to return it for another item.
Q: How should I react if someone has given me a gift that I already own?
A: A gracious thank you is all that is necessary. Use your best judgment when deciding if you should mention that you already have one or multiples of the same gift.
Q: Should I make a quick excuse if someone gives me a gift and I do not have anything to give back?
A: Even though you may feel the need to apologize or explain why you do not have a gift for him or her in return, remember that it is more comfortable to concentrate on the gesture, saying “Thank you so much for of thinking of me”. There will always be another opportunity to surprise him or her with kindness, whether it be a friendly lunch or a small token. Do remember to send a thank you note for the lovely gift!
Q: If someone brings a surprise dessert to my holiday party, should I serve it with the meal?
A: If the dish fits in well with your menu, you are welcome to serve it. However, it is also appropriate to say that you will enjoy the dish later with your family, especially if you know Aunt Susan is allergic to nuts and the dessert in question is pecan pie.
Q: Do you have any suggestions for gracious hostess gifts?
A: One of my favorite hostess gifts to give is olive oil infused with herbs from my garden. Including a few festive seed packets with the card adds to the fun! Wine is also an easy and elegant hostess gift. A Charleston friend and designer recently shared a creative hostess gift idea – wrapping a bottle of wine with beautiful tea towels, burlap and pearl buttons. You can see it here.
Q: Due to an especially busy year, I will be late in sending out holiday cards and gifts. Is it better to forego sending these out since they will arrive after Christmas Day?
A: It is never too late to send a heartfelt gift. People understand schedules are busy and sometimes we get sidetracked, especially during the frenzy of the holiday rush. You may even wish to spin your holiday card into a New Year’s greeting of hope and joy! There is never a bad time to remember someone with either a heartfelt note or gift of goodwill.