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In Chinese tradition, we have about a dozen festivals throughout the year, all relating to traditional customs and taboos. These traditions may seem incomprehensible, but many Chinese cultures incorporate them, especially during celebrations.

Throughout these special days, presenting gifts to friends and family to express your gratitude is not a foreign concept. Perhaps, however, you will rack your brains for gift ideas. Carelessness can cause embarrassing situations, so here are a few tips for gift giving to help you along the way of choosing the perfect present.

Tips for sending gifts


  1. Gifts should be practical if possible. They could be stationary, kitchenware or food to avoid making others feeling frustrated about their usage and storage. Apart from bringing immediate joy, we should also consider the follow-up work.
  2. Simple gifts such as food are preferred as they are neat and convenient.
  3. Avoid sending the "usual" gifts such as red wine, tea and flowers as they may already possess many at home. They may often receive such gifts as well from others. Therefore, we should understand the characters and tastes of the recipients before sending gifts.
  4. Consider the needs and personalities of the recipients. You may not want to assume that others would like things we like unless we are sending healthy living messages through the gifts.
  5. Try not to be lazy in choosing gifts. Pay attention to the tastes and characters of others, and remember their recent needs expressed during conversations. Know the taboos in choosing gifts in different communities.
  6. Be careful with the costs of the gifts. The recipients would worry about how they would reciprocate if the gifts are expensive. If the gifts are too cheap, we may appear insincere. It is essential to show our thoughts and feelings. If the gifts were inexpensive but have significant value or suit the needs of the recipients, this would not be lacking in manners. In contrast, if the gifts were expensive, the recipients might suspect our intention or think we want to show off. This would end terribly!
  7. The age and health condition of the recipients should also be considered, especially for those who are ill or pregnant. Gifts should be suitable for the recipients.
  8. If we aren't too close to the recipient, the gifts should not be too personal or private to avoid misunderstanding.
  9. Pay more attention to different gifts in daily lives. Choosing gifts in a hurry may easily lead to mistakes. Apart from looking for items on shopping lists, also look for items which might be suitable as gifts.
  10. Pay attention to social taboos when sending gifts. Understand the customs of other nations when choosing gifts for foreigners. 
Related websites:

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