Ps & Qs: How to be the queen of Christmas presents

A guide to modern manners. This week: gifting

Manners Illustration Getty Images

Manners Illustration Getty Images


The office Kris Kindle has just been circulated, the Christmas lunch is looming and you have about 102 presents to buy before the 25th. In the interests of good cheer and not offending your besties, heed our advice.

Let’s tackle competitive giving. If your group agreed on no gifts, don’t surprise people with small but exceptionally thoughtful tokens. It’s taking advantage and leaves the giftee feeling inadequate and cross.

Similarly, if it’s a €10 Kris Kindle, spend a tenner, not €2, and definitely not €50. So you know she loves lime and basil candles, but showing everyone else up isn’t very festive.

Remember you’re not buying for yourself. Pilates lessons are a great idea in theory, until your friend realises the studio is on the other side of town – beside your house.

You might think you are the Simon Cowell of choosing gifts but it’s wise to include a gift receipt. You can never have too many quirky mugs – until your cupboards are full.

There is nothing wrong with vouchers and gift cards. We’ll take a voucher over another coin purse or keyring any day. Just don’t shower them on the scatty ones who will throw them out with the wrapping paper.

Speaking of which, don’t get all hurt if people don’t appreciate your brown paper, twig and seal wax productions. That’s your thing. Not theirs.

Finally, try not to regift everything. But if you must, at least change the wrappers and double check for treacherous little tags or cards hidden in the tissue.