“It's not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” 

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Gift-giving has been part of the rituals performed by the human race for a very long time, aiding the purpose of pleasing the recipient in the many cases where gifts are usually exchanged. Gifts became a crucial part of holidays, special occasions, and celebrations (of all sorts). Exchanging gifts somehow became a representation of love and care.

Firstly, I would like to say that in every gift given, it is the thought that truly matters; and not the financial value. Extravagant gifts are indeed quite flattering - come on who wouldn't want a Hermes Birkin bag for a birthday present? ;) - however, it is not always the case.

So what is it that you need to master the art of gift giving?

I did a little bit of research and read some etiquette books regarding this matter, and here is what I found out:

There are two types of gifts you would likely have to give at some point in your life: Corporate (business) and personal (family, friends, lovers, etc). Firstly, I will kick off my thoughts on corporate gift giving which is a very important aspect in a business as it somewhat increases the strength of the relationship between the business and the consumer or fellow business partners. Similarly, this would enhance the business's image and reputation, as a gift really does somewhat define the company's values or motto. Therefore, when giving a 'business' gift, ideally one would opt for giving one of the company's products in order to work as a promotion tool as well; however, this gift must be with a good twist in order to distinguish it from normal products that you can just simply buy! it would leave a greater impression on the recipient.

One common mistake that many make when giving corporate gifts is including the logo and making it very apparent on the gift; this diminishes the moral aspect of gift giving, and makes it visible that it is aimed for the purpose of promotion and advertising.

As for personal gifts, I really think there shouldn't be any rules for this; just basics such as gift wrapping, researching before planning on giving a gift. I'd like to point out the light to international gift giving since I have had trouble with it in the past. In my culture as an Arab from the Arabian gulf, perfumes and fragrance is always a number one option for giving gifts - even to those that you're not so intimately close to - however, when I moved to Europe, I have been told by many of my friends that I should never buy perfume for somebody that I am not so close to; however, in my culture I am so used to giving perfume as a gift to people, regardless my relationship with them. I thought that was an interesting experience, therefore I urge you all to do your research when giving gifts to another culture.

Words can also be a very special gift, when you couldn't put your thoughts into one physical object, then write it down - especially for personal gifts. I honestly love receiving cards with special words from special people in them; in this case, the wrapping is very important as it somewhat makes it more personal. Simply Envelopes offers several types of envelopes to wrap cards that I personally really like, especially this silver one that's a personal favorite of mine.

Be creative when giving gifts, and be graceful and grateful when receiving them.