dos and don'ts advice
Many people get nervous in public situations, but there’s one occasion that should never give you reason to fear. Opening presents in public should be a joyous celebration. Here are some tips on gift-opening etiquette so you don’t get your bows in a twist.
Come On, Get Happy
It may seem like a strange reminder, but when opening gifts, be sure to keep a cheerful disposition. Opening presents can often be stressful if you’re worried about hurting the giver’s feelings or about big public displays.
Just remember to smile graciously and show your appreciation of the gesture. After all, a gift is a symbol of one’s feelings and well-wishes toward another.
Mind Your P’s and Q’s
Those two little words can move mountains and melt icebergs. Always remember to say ‘thank you’ and express your gratitude when receiving a gift. Even if you aren’t sure you like the gift, it’s best to be polite and remember that old adage: it’s the thought that counts.
Thank You For Being A Friend
Sometimes opening presents in public can be a bit of a whirlwind. Before you hit your present-high, be sure to ask a friend to help you keep track of who each gift is from and what it was. Ask your buddy to be specific when recording so you can write a thoughtful and personalized thank you card after the festivities are over.
Recipe for Receipts
If you open a gift that for some reason does not suit your taste, you may want to ask for a gift receipt if one was not included with the gift. However, it’s important to ask for a gift receipt from the giver in private, away from the other guests so as not to embarrass or give offense. Be polite when asking for a gift receipt and explain gently that the sweater they gave you is not quite your size or that the gift is perfectly suited for your taste, but you already have twenty-three of them.
Giving gift cards is a quick and easy way to give someone a gift you know they will like, without having to put too much thought into it. But even without the hassle of trying to figure out everyone’s specific tastes, there are still some pitfalls to watch out for. Here’s a quick run-down to make sure you don’t get red carded–or left empty-handed:
Don’t buy from an unsecure online auction site. Only buy from trusted retailers that are long-standing and reputable, and aren't expected to go out of business.
Do keep location in mind! The management chain that owns the mall in your area might not be the one that has a presence in your recipient's area. Only buy cards from stores with many locations. If you aren’t sure, you can always check the store’s website for store locations, or make sure they can be redeemed online.
Do read the fine print and check for no hidden fees. Check the replacement policy for lost cards and whether or not they give change for the balance on the card after it’s been partially used.
Don’t wait to use cards you receive. Since most gift cards are treated like cas, you should care for them the same way. Keep them in a safe place and keep track of your balances so they aren't wasted.
Do give the recipient of your gift card the original receipt so that the money can be recovered if it becomes lost or is stolen.
Don’t give excessive amounts on gift cards. Gift smaller denominations so that if they are lost or stolen, it won't be a major disappointment.
Dokeep in mind you can always kick it old school. Giving cash instead of gift cards is always a safe alternative—and its accepted anywhere! When going this route, be sure to give crisp, shiny new bills and enclose them in a card.
To open, or not to open—that is the question! Sometimes it’s hard to tell when it’s appropriate to open presents and express your thanks in person, or wait to open gifts privately. While everyone has different customs and traditions, the truth is that really varies by occasion. Here are some guidelines to help take the guess work out of gift-opening.
At bridal showers, the tradition is to open gifts in front of guests and embarrass the bride-to-be with a hat made from the bows. Typically a bridesmaid or friend jots down who gave what, allowing the future bride’s hands to be free for ripping.
At baby showers, gifts are usually opened so everyone can ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ over those adorable little booties and bibs with duckies and kitties.
For presents at Christmas parties, such as Secret Santa at the office, presents are usually opened during the game. If you’re throwing a Christmas party at your home, gifts for the host like wine and food are sometimes opened and put out at the party, but it’s not required.
Birthday presents among the family are usually opened at home after the smoke from the birthday candles has dissipated and everyone is enjoying a piece of cake. For older children and adults, birthday gifts are typically opened at the time they are received.
Save The Best For Later
Let’s face it—some things are better kept under wraps. In these situations, gifts should be opened privately and thank you notes sent afterward.
At kid’s parties, the current trend is not to open presents during the party, but to open them in private. Doing so takes the stress off of trying to keep track of who gave what in the midst of the birthday hubbub, and leaves more time for cake and roller skating. This is especially true at venue birthday parties. For children’s parties at home, gift-opening can be saved for the end of the party, so those who are not interested in watching can leave if they need to.
Engagements & Weddings
Engagement presents and wedding gifts are usually opened after each big event. The newlyweds have enough to keep them busy without having to open presents and acknowledge everyone’s thoughtfulness
between dances and dinner.
Not all roses are created equal. Red roses are most often associated with undying love and are the flower of choice for Valentine’s Day.
Not to be outdone, pink tulips represent caring, white are for forgiveness, red mean love and purple reflect royalty.
Different color carnations also express a variety of sentiments with pink meaning gratitude, yellow reflecting cheerfulness and red denoting admiration.
Calla lilies are regal, hibiscus and orchids are delicate beauties, geraniums imply comfort and daffodils signify chivalry. Daisies suggest innocence, Ivy represents fidelity and gardenias reflect joy.
Every Occasion is a Flower Occasion!
Fresh cut bouquets and a variety of flower arrangements in traditional, modern and even whimsical designs allow you to express yourself on any occasion although the most popular include Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and birthdays.
Even if it’s not an official occasion you can pick up a single stem or a bunch of fresh flowers to brighten any room or make any day special.
So Which Flower Should I Choose?
If you’re not sure what type of flower to give, ask your florist for assistance. Check out our beautiful flower collections for some great gift ideas! Notice the types of flowers featured for different occasions and times of the year to help you make the perfect choice.
Don’t be afraid to combine blooms to send a bouquet representing all of your emotions. Or, throw symbolism aside and pick the flowers you think the recipient would most enjoy.
Many parents-to be have enough excitement going on with the anticipation of a new little one on the way, the last thing they need to worry about is putting together a baby registry. The best way to get a jump start on the baby registry is to plan at least 3 months before the baby shower, to give loved ones a chance to give the very best gifts.
Do Register the Things You Need: All new born babies are so precious and deserve the very best when it comes to choosing gifts for a baby. The best gifts for a baby would be the items that are needed every day (These items include baby bottles, baby blanket, baby furniture, baby clothing and other baby products such as: diapers, baby wipes, etc).
Do Share Your Registry. Make it easy on family and friends who plan on buying congratulatory and baby shower gifts by including where you are registered in baby shower invitations. This way it's easy to see what has been purchased and what you still need before the stork drops by.
Do Say Thank You. This is a two-parter! Do say thank you for baby shower gifts as you open them and make sure to show the same excitement for every bib and rattle. Do send thank you cards to everyone who attended your shower and gave a gift within 2-3 weeks of the shower.
Don’t Forget About Safety. When looking for the right gifts for your baby, always think about safety first. All baby items should be safe and child proof, especially baby cribs, baby toys, car seats, and strollers. Check online for product reviews and recalls.
If you follow these tips you can maximize your gains from the registry experience. These are items that will be essential for your soon-to-be newborn so take care of it now before you suddenly have MUCH less time on your hands.
A gift registry takes all the guesswork out of giving, and provides handy guidelines to those attending. Standard menu items include cribs, strollers, layettes (any combination of onesies, undershirts, swaddling/receiving blankets, cloth diapers, booties, beanies, or wash cloths/bath towels), and age-appropriate toys. If you're unable to make the event, a shipping address for purchases is usually listed. Particularly in today's economy, shower-throwers should be budget-sensitive and register with 2-3 specialty shops or department stores that offer a range of merchandise as well as prices.
Make it personal.
The baby's gender obviously helps determine color schemes when it comes to apparel...yes, it's still pink for girls, blue for boys, although white works for both. Picture frames add elegance to any family photos. Monograms never fall out of fashion...sterling silver drinking cups, spoons and rattles engraved with the child's initials are keepsakes that last through generations. Infant girls are sometimes gifted with scalable jewelry...an add-a-pearl necklace or charm bracelet that grows with the child into early adulthood. And lucky are those who receive treasures hand-made from a friend or relative, such as a crocheted bedspread...truly a labor of love.
Raising children is not an inexpensive endeavor. A check or cash in a lovely gift card is always a welcomed gesture; setting up and contributing to a college savings account, even more so.
The big reveal.
It's absolutely expected and acceptable for a mom or dad to open presents in front of guests. Adhering to the registry precludes any huge surprises. However, this custom isn't always followed; the guest of honor may wish to unwrap gifts after the affair.
Look for a guest book to record email and social media addresses, so that photos and video may be shared. The host may set up a Facebook, Flickr or Tumblr page, for all to enjoy.
Follow the above guidelines (in addition to your heart and good judgement), and your expression of generosity will surely be remembered with appreciation.