Holiday Gift-Giving Ps & Qs
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Present Time!1 of 10
By Natasha Burton
From drinking too much eggnog at the company shindig to forgetting to leave out the milk and cookies for Santa, opportunities for potential disaster this season are a-plenty. Since many holiday mishaps occur in the realm of gift giving, here are our tips to avoid a moment that will leave you red in the face.
Forgetting the Hostess Gift2 of 10
If you’re going to someone’s home for a holiday party, formal dinner or just game night during this season — or any season, really — don’t show up empty-handed. A bottle of wine or a bouquet of flowers will do the trick.
Waiting 'Til the Last Minute3 of 10
If you’ve visited a shopping center recently, you know that everyone is rushing to nab the latest toys and gadgets. If you want to get everything on your list, you’ll have to make time to wait in those long lines, or else those hot new products will be wrapped under someone else’s tree.
Buying the Boss Prada4 of 10
Sure, it’s always nice to think of the man or woman in the corner office, but gifts aren’t bribes, people. Stick with something tasteful and reserved, not an item that's stamped with a couture logo.
No Gift to Give5 of 10
Sometimes you’ll receive a gift from someone you weren’t expecting to give something to. If the individual is a neighbor or coworker, and you haven’t distributed gifts to others yet, be sure to include him or her when you’re doling out goodies. If it’s too late, whip up a batch of festive cookies or pick up some moderately priced, but nicely packaged, wine or coffee to give in return.
Forgoing the Thank You6 of 10
They weren’t fun to write as kids, and thank you notes remain a dreaded task for many adults we know too. However, it’s best to just break out the stationary and write ’em by hand — e-mails are too impersonal — even if you already thanked the gift-giver in person. Be sure to mail them out before the end of January.
Giving Unfairly7 of 10
When it comes to gifts for kids, there are three major no-no’s to watch out for: spoiling, overpromising and favoring. And if money’s tight, cut back on actual gifts and take the tykes ice skating or sledding instead. (Believe us, they’re more apt to remember the family experience than unwrapping this year's “it” toy years down the road.)
Regifting8 of 10
While we’re not saying you should never repurpose a gift, if you’re going to do it, be smart. If your Auntie Lane gave you a scarf that’s just not your color, give it to a pal, not your sister … who was presumably present when you opened the gift. And giving a “gently used” item is always a no-no.
Only Giving to Get9 of 10
Remember, the holidays are about giving, not getting. So don’t forget to reach out to those in need. Many companies sponsor toy drives or collect donations for needy families. Even if you can only spare some change, doing so will really help someone less fortunate have a happier holiday.
Being a Scrooge10 of 10
So you didn’t get the iPad you wanted from your dear husband or the raise you expected at work? Pouting about it sure won’t get you anywhere. (It may, however, make Santa more inclined to fill your stocking with coal next year.) Eat, drink and be merry instead.