July 10th, 2013

The Etiquette of Asking for Gifts

by Jacqueline Whitmore

By: Jorie Scholnik, guest blogger

It seems like whenever I log onto Facebook, someone is posting photos of their recent wedding or birth of their new baby. These happy occasions are a time to celebrate, which means gift giving is in order.

In addition to registries, couples are finding ways to make gift giving more convenient for friends and family. I recently heard of GradSave.com, a website devoted to parents who want to save for their child’s college education.

On this site, you can even set up College Savings Teams, where a core group of friends and family members can continually contribute college funds for birthdays, sweet sixteen parties, and more.

Most people would prefer to receive a contribution for their child’s education as opposed to an overload of onesies and useless toys.

In the age of the Internet, it made me consider what is the proper etiquette for asking for money or gifts on special occasions. Whether you are using GradSave.com or other registries, here are some useful tips:

  1. It may be tempting to print gift information on the invitation, but it’s best if you keep this information separate. Although most people will give a gift, you never want to make others feel obligated to give.
  2. Be appreciative of any gift someone chooses to give. It’s fine to share information about your gift preferences, only if someone asks. Otherwise, just be appreciative that someone thought enough to give a gift.
  3. A reoccurring place that you would like to receive a gift should only be shared with those you exchange gifts with regularly.
  4. Always follow up with a handwritten thank-you note. This demonstrates that you value the gift and the relationship you have with the gift-giver.

Jorie Scholnik currently works as an assistant professor at Santa Fe College, where she teaches career classes and leads an etiquette club. She has also been working under the direction of Jacqueline Whitmore at The Protocol School of Palm Beach for the past seven years. You can read some of her other articles in USA Today College. You can follow her on Twitter @JorieScholnik.

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