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Top 5 Things Your Mother Never Told You about Giving Gifts

By Cindy Carrera

If your mom's like mine, she probably gave you lots of advice on what to do about mostly everything, including giving gifts. But sometimes what your mother didn't tell you about giving gifts is what matters most.

1. Like, for instance, did your mother ever tell you not to give women appliances as gifts? Mine didn't. In fact, I distinctly remember the year she gave Aunt Maxinne a toaster for her birthday. Do I have to tell you that Aunt Maxinne found it hard to speak to Mom for several months? Aunt M had been hinting for months about some cologne she wanted, and even at a young age, I knew cologne was way better than a toaster. So never, even when asked to, give an appliance to a woman as a gift unless it's a wedding or shower gift.

2. And did your mom ever tell you that if you give an inexpensive (i.e., cheap) gift, the receiver will think you're a tightwad or have bad taste? They will. It's not that gifts have to be expensive, but they do need to have some class or meaning to the person you're giving the gifts to. You can get by with any gift as along as it has a symbolic or fun meaning to them. But never give cheap because you're, well, cheap!

3. The opposite of this is true too, and mom probably never told you this either. Gifts don't always have to be expensive. What gifts do need to be is meaningful or useful. No matter what the cost, a gift that a person can't use or doesn't need will be stuck in a closet and forgotten. The same is true for the meaning of a gift. Maybe you want to give a friend a bottle of bubbles because it reminds you of the summer when you were both six and loved them so much you two spent days blowing bubbles. By all means do! Your friend is certain to love the gift and be reminded of those days too.

4. Which brings us to the next thing Mom probably never told you about giving gifts. Gifts don't have to be oooh, so serious. Some of the best gifts in the world are silly, but they bring a smile to a person's face. These are usually some of the best gifts in the world to give-and get. In this stressful, turbulent world we live in, we all could use a gift that makes us smile and reminds us not to take everything so seriously.

5. The last thing that your mom probably never told you about giving gifts is that when in doubt, give money. She probably told you giving money as a gift showed poor taste and planning. Well, poohey, Mom. No one dislikes getting money as a gift! No one! Money may just be the most thoughtful gift of all. After all, it's the one thing everybody needs, can use and probably won't ask for-unless they're your kids, that is.

About The Author
Cindy Carrera is a freelance author who has written numerous articles about creative gift giving at

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