There are plenty of difficult gift-giving scenarios ready to trip us up and make us fall into a bottomless pit of inappropriateness.
In these unique scenarios, the present you buy will reflect on you, so you need to have a slightly cautious approach. Here are some situations and pointers to try and avoid receiving a gloomy face of disappointment and the inevitable “It’s the thought that counts”.
Gift for Your Boss for his Daughter’s Christening
Definitely play it safe with this one, something elegant that welcomes the baby and congratulates the parents. Common christening gifts include: baby blankets, bracelets, photo frames, children’s poems, teddy bears. As long as it is a nice gesture and is suitable for a christening you should be ok.
It also might go down well with your boss if you ask him what the baby already has, so avoid getting the same gift.
Secret Santa in the Office
Here you can be slightly more outrageous and let your creative mischievous side loose. But do consider the recipient of the present and gauge whether or not they will find it amusing. There is a fine line you don’t want to cross. Don’t think just because it is secret Santa that you can get away Scott free.
Secret Santa gifts normally try and poke fun at the receiver. Look for joke or gadget shops and websites where you can usually pick up something cheap and silly. If in doubt a bottle of wine or some nice chocolates are always easy options.
First Present for Partner
Another potentially hazardous situation, you do not want to come across as creepy, possessive, or give them a half-hearted attempt at a present. Try to get them something personal that shows you have been listening while avoiding being corny. This is an opportunity to make a statement of your personality, and if you do not want to break the bank an ironic mix tape or something of that ilk may be ideal for you.
For a Teenage Girl
You may be getting a gift for you niece or a friend’s daughter, and you have to be aware that a ‘barbie’ may come across as patronising. Instead you should buy a gift that recognises that she is a young adult and treated as one. Also, teenage girls can tend to be a tad picky so clothes are always a risky present. Great presents may include: iPod speakers, make-up, perfume, jewellery, or anything that she has a personal interest in.
Appropriate gift for an Anniversary
If you are a man, avoid buying kitchen appliances, cleaning products for the threat of making this your last anniversary. There are plenty of personalised gift ideas including jewellery, theatre tickets, or even plan a weekend getaway.
Gifts for Partners Mothers 60th Birthday
Potentially catastrophic if you get this one wrong, but it also gives you a great opportunity to impress. A safe option would be something nice and thoughtful such as a bottle of wine, port, cheese box, music that she is into, jewellery etc.
What awkward gift giving scenarios have you encountered? Share them here!
Elise Lévêque is always racking her brains for what gifts to get her friends and family, whilst avoiding being offensive or looking cheap. She regularly blogs for Goodheart Gifts who specialise in making the gift giving process a lot simpler by categorising gifts for family members.
Photo by Andy Mangold