Gift giving tips take stress off process
Sometimes people have to think outside the box to come up with good ideas for giving something wrapped in a box.

When it comes to gift giving, we want our gifts to come across as thoughtful, tasteful, and creative; but sometimes we just end up stumped and the “art” of gift giving becomes stressful.

To answer some of the questions that arise from etiquette to presentation, Cloud 9 Living personnel reached out for advice from a few gift giving professionals and compiled a list of gift giving tips.

The following tips came from Charissa from The Gifted blog (a blog about wrapping and presenting gifts); Marie from Gavethat.com(a blog about giving); Lindsay Roberts from Thegiftinsider.com(a website on unique gifts); Gina Luciano from Delightfully, (a portal to creative digital gift giving); Gaby Dolceamore, Community Outreach Coordinator at Uncommon Goods (a unique gift ideas website); Amity from Green Gifts Guide (source for green gift giving); Jay from etiquetteguy.com(an etiquette consultant); Joel Wishkovsky from Card Gnome (artist created greeting cards, printed and mailed for you!); Editor in Chief Dana Holmes from Gifts.com;and of course, Cloud 9 Living employees.

On gift wrapping/presentation

1. Don’t be afraid to look around you for inspiration when wrapping a gift. Junk mail, food packaging, your kids’ artwork can all serve as unusual materials for gift wrapping. -Charissa

2. Not every gift has to include a card. You can make a gift tag out of old cards you’ve received, leftover scrapbook paper, junk mail envelopes, or your child’s artwork. Punch a hole and tie a ribbon to dress up any present. -Amity

3. Guys: Get one of those nice bags and some tissue paper and forget the wrapping…You can put multiple items in there and call it a day. But if you’re a stud, individually wrap the items or place them in cool linen/silk bag for some extra love. -Daniel, C9

4. Annoyed by the waste wrapping paper creates? Buy or make a set of cloth gift bags. Better yet, how about a treasure box that can be used for gift giving year after year. -Charissa

5. Homemade cards always add a special personal touch. -Lindsay C9

6. Take a page from an old calendar and circle or draw a heart around your loved one’s birth date, use it as wrapping paper that only your recipient will know to open. -Marie

7. Don’t force it—wrap oddly shaped gifts like toys in tulle and tie with a pretty bow -Lindsay

8. Place gifts in a small gardening bucket. Don’t even worry about adding tissue paper or plastic wrap. Just tie a ribbon on the handle and let the gift speak for itself. -Amity

9. Make it fun to open. Stick a gift card in a deflated balloon, blow it up and tie with beautiful ribbon. -Lindsay

10. A well decorated package adds to the thoughtfulness of your gift. Always do an exceptional job of wrapping and writing in the card if you are re-gifting. -Dana

On what to give

11. Really take the time to listen to people and they will always tell you what they want as a gift, quite often when you least expect it. -Marie

12. It’s always OK to give a DIY gift-but get creative and be conscious of who you are giving the gift to (i. e., dad doesn’t want a hand-painted flower pot). -Emily, C9

13. For teachers: The chalkboard trend is huge and oh-so-perfect. Give a chalkboard frame, coaster or candle and have your kids write a special note. -Lindsay

14. Share a local delicacy, or something that you make very well to give them a peek into your world. -Dana

15. Give the gift of an experience rather than stuff. Stuff creates clutter, but experiences warm your soul. -Amity

16. For people you didn’t plan for, stock up on expandable vases, letterpress coasters, whiskey stones, herb growing kits or electric wine bottle openers. -Lindsay

17. Organizations like World Vision have great gift-giving catalogs for the holidays, as well as year-round. Our family buys charitable gifts for each other every Christmas and find it brings joy to the purchaser, recipient, and also to those who benefit from the donation. -Laura C9

18. I always give them a gag gift, make them sweat it, then the gift they want. -Daniel, C9

19. Unexpected gifts for no special reason are the best. -Lindsay, C9

20. Consider your common interests and share a favorite product. -Dana

21. A handmade gift is extra special, whether it is made by you or a trained artist. When you give a gift that was made by hand, you aren’t only giving an object, but you’re also sharing a story, inspiration and emotion. -Gaby

22. Donate to a charity in the recipient’s name. Make sure it’s an organization close to their heart and the sentiment won’t be forgotten. -Lindsay

23. Socks! I love getting socks! -Marcos, C9

24. It’s not about what you spend, it’s about the amount of intention that you give with. -Dana

On gift giving etiquette

25. Gift receipts? Necessary and green. If I can’t use it, I would like to get something that I’ll use. Otherwise, especially with clothes, they sit in the closet with the tag on. -Daniel, C9

26. It’s OK to re-gift under certain circumstances, but you have to be careful. Never give something that isn’t in the packaging it came in. Never re-gift something that was handmade for you. Never re-gift something that is banged up, dated or sitting in your closet for years, and most importantly make sure that the person you are giving it to is far removed from the person who gave it to you. -Lindsay

27. When it comes to buying a wedding gift from the whole family or each person attending the wedding, the rule might be that each separate invitation should bring a separate gift. And typically a separate invitation should be sent for anyone over the age of 18. That said, if the whole family wants to pitch in for a larger item, that is OK, too. -Jay

28. If the (son’s or daughter’s) boyfriend or girlfriend is going to be celebrating with your family, absolutely have something small to give. It’s also acceptable to chat with your son or daughter about if they are planning to give something to your family. You want to avoid the uncomfortable situation of one of you bringing something and the other not. -Lindsay

29. When an invitation says “no gifts necessary,” give them Cheetos. People hate to buy them but love to eat them. -Daniel, C9