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The act of gift giving can open a Pandora’s box of potentially awkward scenarios. From wedding gift protocol to proper presents for teenagers, The Giftagram Team is here to help hash out the do’s and don’ts of proper gift etiquette.

We’re spotlighting a different topic each week, and today we’re focusing on what to do when you receive an especially expensive gift.

We all have that well-meaning, well-to-do friend or family member that’s a perpetually lavish gift-giver. Maybe it’s your tech-savvy cousin, who gives you a high-definition drone camera like the Yuneec Breeze Quadcopter, or your stylish aunt who buys you a sleek, top-of-the-line watch piece from Biegert & Funk for your birthday.

Or maybe a coworker you don’t know particularly well gives you a gift certificate with a high price-tag for Christmas, and you’re not sure if you’re now expected to spend the same amount of money on them.

Whatever it may be, receiving a pricey gift can be uncomfortable when you don’t know whether or not to reciprocate, or if you simply don’t have the means to.


yuneec quadcopter drone

Yuneec Breeze Quadcopter ($499)


The straightforward answer for reciprocating expensive gifts is you don’t have to do it. Giving a gift is about generosity, not about the amount of money you spend. You can appreciate and enjoy an expensive gift from a friend without feeling you need to give one back that costs the same amount dollar-per-dollar.

You should reciprocate the kind act of gift-giving, but do so within your monetary limits and to a level you feel is appropriate.

Giving a bouquet of flowers, writing a thoughtful card, or giving a framed photo of the two of you are all thoughtful, inexpensive ways to show someone you care without breaking the bank.


pink flower bouquet


Never worry that your gift is not “up to par.” Giving any gift at all is deeply thoughtful, and your friend, family member, coworker or whoever it may be will recognize the time and effort you put into doing something considerate for them.

Ultimately, the spirit of gift giving is about kindness, not about how much money you spend.


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