[Sorry not sorry, just need to vent it out…]
There is decorum for anything. Gifting is considered social behavior(?) so any ‘rule’ is most likely not written down but passed down from generation to generation anyway. There is no definitive and binding rule of gifting doesn’t mean you are free to give anything to anyone without any second thoughts or exercising any discretion.
It is still something that will reflect back on you, like it or not.
Particularly when dealing with giving business/corporate gift to business partner coming from a different culture from you. You surely do not want something you consider a token of gratitude compromises the good relationship you’ve built just because the gift is deemed inappropriate by the other party, do you? To avoid committing any infelicity, be sure to dig for information or read “Cross Cultural Gift Giving Etiquette” articles like this one or this one.
Where I’m from, gift giving is pretty common especially post-holiday trip. It is always wise to spare some space on one’s luggage for this purpose. List of recipients includes extended family members, friends, even (close) coworkers. Little wonder why budget busts and luggage is always on the brink of overflowing… It is not compulsory per se albeit a nice gesture indeed. Plus, I’d feel a little guilty coming back empty-handed, especially if they are aware of my trip…
You might wonder, why bother so much? Gift is gift. It’s up to the giver’s generosity and the receiver shouldn’t let out a groan – keep it, regift it, or discard it; simple~
True, I was totally on that side of the argument until I received a pretty ‘raunchy’ gift I started questioning the giver’s conscience and thoughtfulness. Suddenly gifting ain’t as simple as it seems. Well, it never is – for me. I must not be the one who puts a lot of thoughts into what to give/should be given, whether or not it suits their taste/if they’ll like it yada yada yada… 5W1H is important afterall.
All I am asking is for you to think twice — thrice, if need be — before something is bought. And then think again before it is given. I usually choose something I like as I believed this advice: buy a gift you like and chances are they’ll like it too. I used to swear by this method, but now, I don’t think so. Even if I like it doesn’t mean others will and must like it too. I may find something amusing, but others may find it off-putting. Something may be funny to me, but others may disagree.
There are other factors too like whom you’re giving it to. That ‘raunchy’ gift may be tongue-in-cheek if given to same-age buddies or kins. Give that to someone your parent’s age and see if it’s not creating big hoo-hah. We came from a relatively conservative root. And you are not even 20 yet.
You were not mortified buying it, but I was appalled seeing it. And something off-the-wall being sold doesn’t mean you have to buy it. Or worse, gift it to others…
Think. It is still something that will reflect back on you anyway.
I rest my case.