Can you tell me when a thank you gift should be given?
While it would be impossible to list every occasion where a thank you gift might be appropriate, here are some situations that frequently merit a gift of thanks:
- A friend provides an evening of free childcare (and has no kids for you to care for in exchange).
- A friend or family member helps you with some aspect of your wedding.
- A neighborhood kid mows your lawn while you were convalescing with a broken leg.
- The mother of your son's best friend repeatedly drives the kids to swimming lessons.
- An acquaintance refers a large contract or new client to your business.
- You've been a guest at someone's home.
- It's the winter holiday season and you would like to tip household and building staff or exceptional service providers.
What about thank you notes in-lieu of gifts?
There are many instances where an act of kindness or an unexpected gift is best acknowledged with a thank you note or a social invitation. The art of graciously receiving a gift (or allowing someone to assist you when the favor cannot be returned) is just as important as being a skilled gift giver. Many people just want to do something nice because it makes them feel good. In these instances a thank you note may be appreciated far more than a gift given in return.