Birthday Gift Etiquette
Just like any other occasion, simple rules of etiquette apply when giving a birthday gift. Gift giving etiquette is easy to follow and will ensure you avoid those embarrassing faux pas!
Buying birthday gifts can be tricky if you're not close with the birthday boy or he seems to have everything he needs. A safe bet is to give cash or to buy him a gift certificate to a store where he likes to shop.
The recipient shouldn't know how much the gift cost unless it's a gift certificate. Make sure to remove all price tags and stickers.
Gag gifts are fine as long as you know the person will appreciate it and the humor isn't cruel or embarrassing. If you're not sure if the joke will go over well, pick another gift.
Gifts should be age-appropriate. A 13-year-old girl doesn't need a Liz Claiborne makeup kit, and a 60-year-old man doesn't need a book of drinking games to play with fraternity buddies.
You should always bring a gift when invited to a birthday party. The exception is when the invitation specifically says, "No gifts please."
The gifts should be opened during the birthday party or when they are given to the celebrant so the gift giver can enjoy watching him open it.
Expensive jewelry for a gift is reserved for people you have a close relationship with such as your children or your spouse. Less expensive (but well-made) costume jewelry is a more appropriate gift for friends.