When you were a child, everything was easier: you wrote a letter to Santa Claus, or you told your mom, dad, grandparents, friends and even your dog what you wanted for Christmas.
But as an adult, it might be considered a bit rude to tell your wife, “Hey, I’ve behaved very well this year … give me this.”
That said, you will not necessarily want what your partner/brother/mother-in-law/parents plan to give you. (A toaster? Stockings? Really?)
We ask our experts on etiquette if it’s okay as adults to give suggestions about the best Christmas gifts or if it’s better to shut up and accept what Santa Claus brings you.
If you decide not to make a list of “this is what I want,” says Jodi Newbern, author of “Regifting Revival: A Guide to Reusing Gifts Graciously,” it is preferable to use the subtle method of leaving photos from a catalog or magazine strategically located in the whole house.
You don’t have to say a single word, and you will certainly send a message, he adds.
If nobody mentions anything to you about this, then or the message was properly understood and you just have to wait and enjoy the success of your plan, or they really give a damn what you want and they will give you what they want to give you, or what they think you’ll like it.
This is a topic that could be thorny in some homes. There are those who ask their mother or friends to tell their partner what they want, but who gives the gifts may feel manipulated.
Instead, it is better to tell that person what you need or want, and if he understands, fine. If not it does not matter.
According to Sherri Athay, author of the book ‘The Perfect Gift: Unforgettable Gifts for Every Occasion’, some people who give gifts feel good with the suggestions – for example, receiving model numbers and stores where to buy – but there are others who want to surprise. There are those who even cross out of your potential gift list anything you have suggested or expected.
If you are dealing with the former, there is no need to ride around. But be sufficiently considerate and include suggestions from every price range on your list, says Athay.
And if you are dealing with the second case, your clues should be visible instead of expressing them. (For example, let that person “listen” to your conversations with other people or see you watching ads and commercials about what you want), she adds.
You should also share your preferences with friends or family members who can give that person a clue to give you a gift.
A lot of this depends on who you are giving clues to, says Peggy Post, great-granddaughter of Emily Post, the famous writer who was known for writing on labels. If it’s your husband, mom or sister, you can do it in a very funny way, saying something like “in case you’re looking for ideas, I’d like to…” adds Post.
“Or you can give ideas through a third party saying: ‘In case Sam is looking for ideas, I would like this and this very much,'” says Post.
On the other hand, let’s say it’s a friend with whom you exchange gifts or a co-worker, so the situation is a bit more complicated, so you could try to say “I really like Dan Brown’s books”, or say “That new book is very good ”, but don’t reach them with your wish list, according to Post.
Although in general people like to have ideas about what to give you, so help them.