8 Unwritten Rules Of Gift-Giving You Should Know

Gifts are both tangible and intangible property we give to our friends or anybody at all without the hope of the person paying you back or giving you something in exchange. It is simply anything given.

Main Types of Gifts

There are broadly two types of gifts that were classified according to whether the donor is alive or dead. They are;

1. Inter Vivos

This is the type of gifting in which both the donor and the donee are still living. It is made up of a number of gifts that someone living can give to another. Inter Vivos is a Latin word which means “between the living”. Examples include; cancellation of debts, Christmas gifts, wedding gifts, anniversary gifts, gift for expression of love or friendship, wealth sharing, gifts for expression of piety or for charity, expression of solidarity (seen when political parties have fundraising campaigns, etc.), birthday gifts, child dedication gifts, gifts on certain religious functions (Easter, Salah, Eid al-Fitr, etc.), funeral gifts to bereaved individuals, gifts for passing an examination or gaining admission, gifts from colleagues at your workplace, from children, parents, family members, friends, priests, etc. they are so numerous to mention. This type of gift is irrevocable i.e. as soon as the donor gives the gift to the donee or the recipient; he is no more the owner of the property or gift and can no longer lay claims to it.

2. Causa Mortis

This is the type of gift that a donee gets when the donor dies. Causa Mortis is a Latin word which means “because of death”. It is a gift that someone gives when he or she knows that his or her death is at hand, maybe he or she suffers from an ailment, or knows he is going to die soon or will travel to where he is not sure of his or her safety. This gift still remains with the donor until he dies before the donee can claim it. It is mostly written down and duly signed by the donor, stating clearly the donee’s name, address and every other thing that could be used to identify him or her. This type of gift is revocable in occasion of survival of the donor i.e. the donor can collect back the gift if he survives the life-threatening condition. A will can be regarded as a Causa Mortis. This type can also be informal and beside the sick bed of a dying man or woman. He or she can just use words to give people far or near his or her property. The underlying factor here is that the gifting should be out of will and not under any duress.

It could be in appreciation for what someone did for you, to show kindness or respect. Its importance is overwhelming and so it will important they are restated here.

5 Important Reasons Why Gifts Are So Important

Gifts are of great value to our social life and have a lot to say about the person receiving the gift (recipient or donee) and the person giving (donor). There are some important reasons why gifts are so important.

Reason #1 – Makes You Indelible

Have you ever thought of this? Whenever someone gives you a gift that you use daily or monthly, each time you want to use that thing, the thought of the donor comes to your mind. This is psychological and so, gifting is a very sure way to keep you in people’s memory. Buy a gift today and you’ll never be forgotten!

Reason #2 – Clears Some Grounds

Sometimes, someone doesn’t actually know what he or she is to you. It makes people take you serious (especially when you are having a crush on someone). In another instance, maybe you just had a problem with your fiancée, spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend, buying a gift for him or her (especially what he or she loves most), will clear some of the hatred as a result of that problem, and make the relationship stronger and fun…. But, it depends on how you present the gift when you present it and some other factors. Just stick around as these things will be discussed in details in the session below.

Reason #3 – Increases Reputation

Imagine you buy a very special gift for your parents, boss, etc. that will surely increase their love and value for you, especially if the gift is costly. It is natural as people cherish expensive things given to them by maybe someone they thought cannot afford such. It works like magic!!! Try it out and you will ever remain in the good books of your boss, parents, fiancée or girlfriend. Gifts are actually wonderful things.

Reason #4 – Brings Good Fortunes Your Way

It is often said that when we give, we receive more of whatever we give, when we give, we are planting seeds that will be multiplied back to us. A gift given to someone you know or to a stranger can lead you to get a job you never dreamt of getting, make you sit with princes or highly placed individuals, earn you political and other nominations, and may even lead you to get your dream spouse. See how it works; you give someone a gift, he or she tells his or her friend about your kind gesture, and whenever any opportunity comes up, you’ll be the first person he or she will remember because of the gift you gave.

Reason #5 – It Helps Explain You More

Some chats with some people recently helped with this fact. Someone once said that he gave someone (his crush) a gift and said no words to her and left. After that day, the girl became his friend and they began to get along smoothly just because of the gift. Maybe you should actually try it out the right way. But which way is right? That is why you should continue with the article as you will soon find out.

Having discussed extensively the importance of gifts, we will then go ahead and explain the unwritten rules of gift giving.

The Unwritten Rules Of Gift Giving

There are so many ways you might use to give someone a gift and he or she will not value or cherish it. You might have tried it out and it was like the person wasn’t grateful for it. This tells us that there are ways and what to consider before gifting. These ways and things to consider will be discussed in this session.

Rule #1 – Determine What The Person Wants

Can you imagine someone getting an IPhone 7 for your granny in the village…. That will be awkward right? In the same way, buying someone what you know they do not need is the most annoying thing you can do. This will make the person feel sad inside of him or her, even though they might show some outward feeling of happiness. The question then is… how do you know what someone wants? To know what someone actually wants might need you to stay with the person for some time, asking people around what the person might like, or even indirectly asking the person.

You can know what someone wants from how often he talks about that thing, his lifestyle, his hobbies, etc. For example, if he or she is a computer student and you decide to buy a laptop for him or her, I bet you the person will ever be grateful because that is actually what they want and cherish most. So, if you want someone to value your gift, go for what they want at that point in time.

Rule #2 – Don’t Forget To Wrap The Gift

: some gifts especially small ones are meant to be a surprise for the donee. How will you feel seeing someone’s gift immediately he or she gives it to you? Won’t it make sense right? Wrapping a gift (if small) will keep the recipient in suspense till he or she opens it. We all know that it is not right to open a gift in front of the donor, and so he or she will be salivating to see the content. Do you want to give someone a gift? Then wrap it up!

Rule #3 – Remember To Write Your Name On The Gift

This is particularly for people who bring a gift for celebrants at an occasion. During such occasions (like wedding ceremonies, child dedications, birthdays, thanksgiving periods, festive periods, etc.), the celebrant or possible recipient will get so many gifts from friends and well-wishers, and because of this, he or she won’t be able to tell whose gift a particular gift is. This makes writing your name on the gift a must for such situations. It is often recommended that you write in this format “from YOURNAME to THE RECIPIENT’S NAME”.

Rule #4 – Know The Mode Of The Recipient

Sometimes we give people gifts when they are not in the right mood. For example, you can’t possibly give someone drunk a gift and expect it to be appreciated. Therefore, it is important that gifts are given when the recipient is in his or her happy mood.

Rule #5 – Timing

This is actually a fundamental issue in gifting. You cannot give someone a Christmas gift on the 1st day of December and expect him or her to value it more than one given on the 25th day of December (Christmas day). Each gift should be given as and at when necessary. Festive periods, etc. are ideal for giving out gifts that correspond to the period.

Rule #6 – Delivery

Delivery of gifts is as important as the gifts themselves. If possible, you should be the one to deliver the gift to the person you bought it for and not sending someone else. Sending someone else reduces the value of such gift. It is not also good to drop gifts on tables, cars or any other place for their recipients to collect them by themselves as this has so much to say about your person and the gift. You want someone to value your gift? Give them the gifts in their hands and you are surely on the right track.

Rule #7 – Get What You Know The Recipient Cannot Afford

Although this is not good in all cases, it is advised that a gift should be what the person cannot afford so as to make him or her value the gift so much. Imagine buying a tractor for a peasant farmer that cultivates on a very large scale manually but cannot afford the tractor at that time. This will make him sing your praise all through his lifetime and also be of great help to him. The exceptions to this rule are when you are buying for people that you know can afford anything you can think (people who are more financially stable than you) and this is what brings us to the next point which is the golden rule.

Rule #8 – Remember, It Is a Gift: Laugh Out Loud!

You might be saying, what has this point got to do with the rules? But it has everything to do with it. Remember you are buying a gift and one of the attributes of a gift is that you are not expecting a payback or compensation. This should be at the back of our mind always when buying a gift for someone, just know it is a way of showing solidarity, expressing love and kindness, showing care and not to bribe the person into doing what you want him or her to do.

It is not equally a gift meant to be a problem to the donee like the Greek gift in the Greek’s mythology (the gift of a Trojan horse from the Greeks to the people of Troy that lead to the Greeks defeating them) and should be done with sincerity of heart and mind.


Having listed and explained extensively the unwritten rules of giving gifts, the ball is now in your court to make good use of them and give the best gift that your recipient will enjoy, value and cherish throughout his or her lifetime.

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