The holidays are fast approaching and now is the time to start shopping for all those special gifts. While we usually know what we want to buy for our nearest and dearest, there is always at least one person for whom we do not know how to shop. Here are some gift giving tips and etiquette to keep in mind.

When to exchange

There are occasions, like Christmas, when gift giving is usually made up of an exchange between two people. They will present you with a gift and you will give them one in return. There are also occasions, like birthdays, that don’t require a gift in exchange. If you are both celebrating an occasion, an exchange is polite. If somebody you love is celebrating a special occasion, it’s normal for them not to present you with a gift.

Value of the gift

So often we consider what our loved ones gave us before choosing a gift for them. If they bought you something expensive for your last birthday, you should not feel obligated to do the same the next time their birthday comes around. You might not be in the same situation financially. It is important that you don’t set the bar so high that you struggle to maintain it over the years.

Group gift

Another great idea is group gift giving. This is especially great if you want to buy something really expensive but not pay for it entirely on your own. You can discuss your plans with several mutual friends and put your money together for an elaborate gift. Another idea, if you are shopping for a family, is to send a gift hamper that they can enjoy together. Often, this is the most cost-effective way of doing your Christmas shopping.

Don’t arrive empty-handed

Finally, if you are invited to a special event or even just for dinner, make sure that you never arrive empty-handed. If you are not celebrating any special occasion, you don’t really need to worry about gift giving etiquette. You should, however, at least bring along a bottle of wine or something for your host.

These are some of the most important gift giving tips that you will need to keep in mind. The best part is that they are practical for all occasions including the festive season and other occasions like birthdays and anniversaries.