Gift giving always has two sides. There’s the action of giving a gift, and there’s receiving a gift. Both are usually pretty straightforward, but there are occasions where it might not be. If you’re more interested in gift giving etiquette make sure to check out our guide here. Otherwise, in this guide we’ll be focusing on the proper etiquette when receiving a gift.

You may have some friends and loved ones who are able to find the perfect, thoughtful gift. Others might dread it and find it difficult but they still tried. In any case, when someone is giving a gift, they’ve put some time and thought into the process. So it’s important to remain humble and thankful, because ultimately they didn’t have to get a gift.

Etiquette For Receiving A Gift

There are some unspoken rules when it comes to giving a gift.  But what about when you’re receiving gifts? Below we’ll show you the proper etiquette for receiving a gift. 

Be Polite

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A gift is something that someone has gone out of their way to get you. Therefore it’s polite to accept it. If you feel uncomfortable however, you can decline to open the present there and then. Just remember to do so politely. Some conversations are best not had in a public setting or face to face but should still be acknowledged.

Communication is key with most situations, so if you did feel uncomfortable you can address it. You don’t want to enable a pattern of behaviour. Additionally, the person might not know why it was awkward. By talking to them about it in a calm manner, it will give them the chance to reflect.

Show Your Appreciation

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When you’re given a gift, you need to be mindful of people’s feelings. They’ve gone through the trouble of finding something they think you’ll like. You don’t want things to get uncomfortable or awkward for either of you. So here are some ways on how to say thank you after receiving a gift:

  • Make eye contact, give a genuine smile and say thank you. This shows that you’re being sincere.
  • If you don’t have a gift for them, don’t lie about it. It’s the oldest excuse in the book, “Oh I’m sorry I forgot to bring it!” Sometimes it’s genuine, but a lot of the time it’s not. It can be obvious, so just don’t mention it. Focus on their gift and tell them how thoughtful it is.
  • If it’s something you have already, keep it to yourself. Continue to acknowledge the gift and you can possibly regift it later on. That person spent time and money looking for it and were thinking of you when they bought it. Showing disappointment isn’t nice for them. You can check out our regifitng guide here for correct regifting etiquette.
  • After you’ve seen them, you can send them a thank you card. Or a thank you message, just to acknowledge once again that you really appreciated the gift. It will go a long way.

Receiving Money As A Gift

Money is a very common gift to give, especially between family members. Often you may receive money as a direct gift, or there may be money in a card.

It’s really important to thank the person who’s gifted it to you (as with any gift). Common ways to thank someone for money are:

  • In person
  • A phone call / text message
  • A hand written letter.

The method of thanking someone will vary depending on your relationship to the person, so pick the method best suited for the occasion.

Below are some factors for you to consider when you’re given money as a present:

Be Mindful

Be Mindful Graphic

Everyone has their own opinion on what’s ok to give as a gift and receive as a gift. For example, it can be seen as someone not putting the thought in. But in reality, we should look at the good side of this gesture.

They’ve not wanted to waste money on something you won’t like. Instead they’ve given you the opportunity to treat yourself to something YOU know you’ll like. And who doesn’t want the excuse to treat themselves to something they want/need?

Ultimately, they didn’t need to get you anything. The fact that they still went out of their way shows they care!

Bring Focus To The Gesture

Bring Focus To The Gesture Graphic

A nice way to show your appreciate for the money is by showing them what you bought with it.

For example, if you bought that face mask or notebook that you’ve been wanting for ages, take a picture of it and send it to the person who gave you the money. This gives you the opportunity to re-address the thoughtful gift with an extra thank you message, such as: “I just treated myself to this which I’ve wanted to a while now with the money you gave me. Just wanted to say thank you again!”

They’ll want to know that they were able to make you happy, regardless if it was a gift item or money, so bringing focus back to the gesture is a great way to show appreciation.

This has been a guide for etiquette on how to receive a gift.

If you need more help with correct gift etiquette, you can find some related posts below.

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