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Children and Gift Giving

If a child wants to give a teacher a gift at Christmas or Hanukkah, on a birthday, or at the end of the school year, the gift should not be extravagant. In fact, encourage your child to get the class to offer a gift together. If, however, it is from a single child, a small token— perhaps something handmade—is appropriate. The gift should be wrapped and accompanied by a card.

And, like adults, children should send a thank-you note if they aren’t able to thank the giver in person. In fact, it’s a nice idea (and teaches a small lesson about the importance of sending thank-you notes) to send a note to Uncle Danny, even if your son or daughter was able to thank him in person.

Parents should impress upon their children that, no matter how dumb or ugly they think a gift is, the giver must never know: “Uncle Danny likes you and respects you enough to go to the trouble and expense of getting you something he thinks you will like. Telling him it’s dumb or ugly will hurt his feelings.”

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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Etiquette © 2004 by Mary Mitchell. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit the Idiot's Guide web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


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