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, we reached out for advice from a few of our favorite gift giving professionals and compiled a list of our favorite 61 gift giving tips.


We gathered the following tips 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. They all had some wonderful advice for us to alleviate the stress out of gift giving.


If you have some advice of your own, please share it in the comments below!


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 (for like 3 bucks) at Target and some tissue paper (for $2) 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 ones 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. ÔÇôLindsay


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 okay 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 for teachers. 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: Ideas to 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's 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 Recipients 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 okay 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 or daughters) 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


30. When it comes to “re-gifting' there is no problem with it. Just be careful whom you give the gift to. Gifts are supposed to be enjoyed so even, say you were handed down a family heirloom but it's a necklace that you will never wear or china that will never be used. If someone else in the family might have a greater use for it, is it OK to pass it back down to them. -Jay


31. When an invitation says, “no gifts necessary” but you feel awkward arriving empty-handed, something small like flowers in a mason jar or a bottle of wine of wine are nice alternatives. -Laura, C9


32. Cards, must we have them? Absolutely, research shows that healthy relationships are based on selfless giving. Gift giving is an extension of that feeling. -Joel


33. To make giving a gift card less impersonal theme and bundle it by giving them a certificate to their favorite Yoga studio and couple it with a water bottle and headband, or give them a spa certificate and include a nice bottle of lotion. -Lindsay


34. Cloud 9 Living e-mail certificates are perfect for the morning you realize you forgot a milestone celebration. -Laura, C9


35. When an invitation says “no gifts necessary” Everyone has their own take on what to do in this situation. I always take this to mean “no gifts just for the sake of getting a gift.” I usually think really long and hard about gifts and think that if I can come up with something that is really meaningful that I'll bring a gift. Otherwise I'll make a charitable donation to an organization or cause I know they care about. – Joel


36. Always receive a gift as honestly as possible, but with an open mind and heart. -Dana


On Staying Organized


37. First & foremost you absolutely need to have a Master Gift List. Keep track of anyone you need presents for, the budget for each gift, key interests of recipients and a few initial gift ideas. This should be done the Thursday before Thanksgiving. -Lindsay


38. Christmas gifts: Take the hardest person to shop for on your list, and get his or her gift NOW. Pretend this weekend is December 24th, and do your best. Just by taking the pressure off, you might end up finding the perfect gift. -Amity


39. Take wrapping and delivery off your to-do list. For out-of-town family and friends, order from online retailers that will wrap and send gifts directly to their homes. -Lindsay


40. Research shows that you spend more time and money if you shop with kids or your spouse. Focus on the task at hand and head to shops at off-hours or on weekdays. -Lindsay


41. When you forget a gift…i.e. man on anniversary. There really is no excuse in this day and age for forgetting an important occasion. Between facebook, social media and free reminder applications, you can make sure to get everything in time. -Joel


On Giving Green


42. Maybe they're not always healthy, but edible holiday gifts are definitely green. No batteries to replace, and they'll never end up crowding a landfill. -Amity


43. Giving doesn't always mean spending money. Giving your time or talent is something that will never end up in a landfill. -Amity


44. Give a gift you have grown and made yourself. My wife and I made peach jam from the peach tree in our back yard this year and we have been giving away jars of the jam as thank you and birthday presents. -Greg, C9


On Saving Money


45. Don't miss out on Cyber Monday – This is the one day you must dedicate to online shopping. Stock up on big-ticket items, toys, bulk gifts and electronics on this huge day for online savings. -Lindsay


46. I am always amazed how appreciative people are when you grow and make a gift yourself. The actual cost of the gift is a fraction of any standard gift you could buy in a store but people absolutely love them! -Greg, C9


47. Avoid paying for shipping ÔÇô find free shipping deals at FreeShipping.org or wait until Free Shipping Day on December 17th. -Lindsay


48. Handmade coupon books for your gf/bf with coupons. -Marcos, C9


49. Suggest a holiday gift exchange to take a few names off your to-buy list. -Lindsay


50. If you can't afford a gift for everyone in the family around holidays, try a Secret Santa party instead and cap the gift price at $50. -Ashley, C9


51. Have a Signature DIY Gift. Browse DIY blogs like P.S. I Made This, Stylelist.com to get your creative juices flowing early in the season. Pick one signature DIY gift to master and make multiples on the second or first Sunday of December. Only give to special recipients who you know will appreciate these handmade sentiments. -Lindsay


52. Gifts do not have to be expensive; small, thoughtful gifts go a long way. -Lindsay C9


53. Make a list with a budget for each person and stick to it. Remember that a budget is a maximum, not a goal. If you underspend, it's ok! -Dana


On Staying Inspired 


54. The act of giving demonstrates you care, but most people also want to feel understood. -Gina


55. When your kids are young, start a gift giving tradition like giving them an ornament or a page for their scrapbook every year. -Ashley, C9


56. Giving is an opportunity to strengthen a bond with someone, and it's important to take advantage of the entire experience from the packaging to the moment the gift is received. -Gina


57. If you're having a hard time finding a gift for a loved one, try looking for a handmade gift that tells a story that your friend or family member would appreciate, not just the piece. -Gaby


58. To impart more meaning to your gift, try incorporating something such as notes or pictures that reference times you think of that person when you're apart. -Gina


59. If you are stumped on what to get the person – think. Wherever you go. Think about them. It'll come to you. It'll likely hit you in the face. -Daniel, C9


60. Think about the moment your gift will be received and identify at least one thing you can bring to that moment that no one else could. -Gina


61. Remember that every gift is supposed to be a wish for someone's happiness, not an obligation. If you aren't feeling inspired, take a break from shopping and jot down a bunch of words that describe who you're shopping for and how you feel about them. You should be back on track in no time! -Dana