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Belated Gifts


Maybe you've been traveling or haven't been able to connect with the person who is celebrating their special occasion. It's protocol to give this person a gift at this particular time (or around this time) in their life. You might feel bad about not knowing quite what to buy them, or you might feel slightly embarrassed for not delivering the gift right on time. "Better late than never" is the phrase we like to use, and the belief is usually universal. Our friends and family members will appreciate being remembered, even if the acknowledgment comes a little later. When the effort is finally made, it's usually recognized.

Frequently Asked Questions

A friend recently threw a housewarming party, and I was mortified when I arrived and discovered that I was the only person who had not brought a gift! What should I do?
Don't worry! The omission of a gift probably bothered you far more than your friend. And it's not too late to send something now. Don't apologize or belabor the fact that you didn't bring a gift to the party. Just send your gift with a gracious note and everything will be just fine.

I will be staying at a friend's home for the weekend. Is it OK to send a gift after my stay?
Yes. As a houseguest, it's perfectly fine to bring your gift with you, or send it-along with your thank you note-after you've left.

How long do I have after attending a wedding to send a gift?
One year.

I forgot my friend's birthday. What should I do?
In an ideal world, we would remember to call everyone on his birthday or send a card so that it would arrive on the actual day. Unfortunately, we sometimes fall short of this goal. Many people extend their birthday into a week-long celebration. You can send a "belated" or traditional card and gift, and still downplay the fact that's it's late. Most people will simply be pleased with the thought, and not concerned that you're late.

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