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Avoid Gift-Giving Awkwardness By Picking Something Personal

Everyone can tell you at least one story of a gift they received that they didn’t like. They will usually take a bit of probing before they will actually talk about it, because we don’t like to snark about nice things. But we have all been there – whether under the tree on Christmas morning or at a birthday party. Someone buys us a gift that they’ve clearly thought about, so we smile and thank them, but inside we wonder what possessed them to buy it.

In such cases, what usually happens is that we put the gift somewhere safe and only bring it out when the giver comes to our house. Or we regift it to someone who will like it, and come up with an excuse in case we’re asked about it later. These gifts rarely take up pride of place in our homes. So when we buy gifts ourselves, we try to avoid being the one who bought “that gift”.

When we are buying a gift, for any occasion, we will look to get something that means a lot to the receiver. Hopefully it will be connected to the occasion and to the person and be the kind of thing they’ll want to keep around. Most of all, we don’t want to put them through those contortions. The ones we had to go through to convince someone else we really liked that ugly hat or weird mug tree.


When Your Friend Has Had A Baby


After forty weeks carrying a tiny human and several hours giving birth, none of us are at our most energetic. Ensuring that your friend doesn’t have to give an Oscar-quality performance is really gift enough in many cases. A present that simply commemorates the happy event and welcomes the little one to the world is nice here. A good step is to read and such sites, to find something unique and special.

When Your Friend Is Moving Away

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If a close friend is leaving to move to another part of the country, or out of the country, it is an emotional time. Your gift needs to reflect this. It can’t be a punch in the arm for leaving you behind, no matter how much you want it to be. It should be something they can use wherever they’re going. When they use it – it could be a warm jacket they’ll need when they’re living in Norway – they’ll think of you, and call for a chat.

When Your Child Graduates


Graduating high school, college or anywhere else is among the most momentous occasions in a person’s young life. As it is an academic achievement, the impulse may be to buy them something focused towards that. But a really good calculator or a dictionary can feel a bit muted and impersonal. In this case, something fun seems appropriate. Paying for a trip somewhere they want to go can be the best step here.
It’s true that not all of these gifts can be framed and put on the wall, but what they will create is memories that can be shared. They’ll bring utility that will be appreciated and recognition of a momentous life event. And they will never generate that uneasy, forced gratitude we all dread at gifting time.

About the Author

Amanda Acuña an influential Mom Blogger created MommyMandy as an online resource to the parenting community. She has four children and they currently reside in Texas.

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