How to give a gift

An explainer.


How to give a gift

An explainer.

How to give a gift

An explainer.

It’s the holiday season, which can mean many different things to many different people. For some, it’s a time of joy. For others, a time of sadness. For the rest, in between. But of course, we’re all inhabitants of the greatest gift of all: Mother Earth. And doesn’t that count for something?

According to a 2014 corporate gift giving study, 38 percent of the corporations included in the study did not plan on giving a gift to their employees during the holiday season. Excuse me — no gift? Incredible. Mitt Romney may have said that corporations are people, my friend, but if that’s true, well… some of them seem to be very rude people, indeed.

But what is a gift, and how do you give one? Don’t be ashamed; that’s exactly what we’re here to discuss.

You say “give” a gift. What is give?

Give, give. How to describe give? Okay, how about this. Let’s say you have one apple. Your friend also has one apple, but your friend says, in a way that is very pointed, “I’d love to have two apples instead of one.” (Oh, god. This is just so typical of your friend.) Your friend glances down at your apple while you both stand in silence. “It’s so sad about my one apple,” your friend says. “How lovely would it be to have a pair of—” At this point you throw your apple at your friend with great force and say, “Here, now you have TWO APPLES!”

That’s give (verb), or giving (gerund).

Okay, that makes sense. What do you “give” during the holiday season?

Great question! You give a gift. A gift is a little something you buy or, worse, make.

Why did you talk about apples before if the answer isn’t that you give an apple?

Well, you can give an apple. But I imagine it would be an unsatisfying gift for most. Unless the recipient has never had an apple before — that could be exciting. A new taste. Unless they’ve never had an apple before because they’re deathly allergic. Unless they just think they’re deathly allergic but maybe should give it another shot. Then I think I’d reconsider getting them the apple after all.

Okay, what is a “good” “gift” to “give” then?

A good gift to give is something your friend or loved one would enjoy but would not buy for themselves. Maybe it’s something they have mentioned wanting or something they would put to great use. A nice surprise. Wow, they had no idea you were so thoughtful! That’s a good gift.

When that fails, think of a vague interest that your friend or loved one either has or had at one point in the past (“magic,” “rock music,” “Pokémon,” “wine,” “shopping,” “doctor,” “Brooklyn,” “book”) and buy them a tote bag with that word on it.

If I give a gift, does that mean I’ll get a gift?

Tsk, tsk, tsk. Do not fall into this ugly trap. The holiday spirit demands you give without expectation of receiving. And if you don’t receive a gift in return for your gift? Well, then you get to enjoy a pleasant sense of superiority and the sweet joy of another person’s guilt, which are perhaps the best gifts of all.

And do you just hand a gift to the person you’re giving it to with no wrapping paper or anything?

Uh. No… you put it in wrapping paper. A box with wrapping paper. Or a festive bag.

What words do you say when you hand someone a gift?

Oh, gosh. Whatever words you’d like! I’ve enumerated some options below.

  1. · Here you go!
  2. · Here's your gift!
  3. · Here it is!
  4. · Here’s the gift!
  5. · Here!
  6. · Heeereeeee!

What is the history of gift giving?

Interesting question. I’m not sure!

So, that’s pretty much all I need to know about giving a gift, right?


Still confused? Try these!

Gift guide for giving a gift

For when you want to give a gift, and you want to give it right.
6 Card Story