Gift Giving Dilemma


Kristin shared her recent holiday gift situation:

A friend recently stopped by and dropped off a beautiful Christmas gift for our family. I didn’t get her family a present and can’t afford to match her generosity. While I completely appreciate her kindness, I also feel so awkward. How should I have handled this situation?

Kristin is not alone this holiday season! Many of us have been caught empty-handed when it comes to the holiday gift exchange. The word of the day is…


The first thing to remember is that your friend gave you a gift because SHE wanted to do something nice for the family. Not because she was expecting a gift from you. Giving a gift is a joyful experience. It makes us happy.

You should never feel that you need to “match” the gift’s value. Spend what you can afford to spend. Homemade gifts that showcase your talents often take a lot more time and heart. I love getting special holiday treats – homemade marina sauce made from tomatoes grown in their garden, a traditional family cookie or jam made from berries they picked this summer. It’s always the thought and sentiment that counts.

When you are caught empty handed, the very best response is to be as gracious as you can be. Thank your friend for her thoughtfulness. Send a thank you note. Make a mental note for next year’s gift list and maybe do something nice for the family at another, more unexpected time. Valentine’s Day is February 14!

I wish all of you a wonderful and memorable holiday. May 2012 be filled with happiness for you and your families.

Share the Love and Spirit of the Holidays….and Mind Your Manners,


  1. Thanks Kelly! This is something that always stumps me…I always feel the need to scramble out and buy them a gift. But you are right, gift givers do so because they want to and saying thank you is really all that is needed. Thanks My Guru!

    • Kelly

      Jeannine – especially for you, who is forever helping others with such great business advice, the holiday season is a perfect time others can do something nice for YOU to say “thank you” and “I appreciate you for all you do and for who you are!” You are right – a gracious and timely “thank you” is perfect.

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