When is the best time to give year-end holiday gifts?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 17,723
    Etiquette expert Nancy Mitchell discusses the best time to give year-end holiday gifts.

    Nancy Mitchell

    Nancy R. Mitchell is an established protocol and etiquette consultant and advisor with more than 30 years of experience in the field. Currently, she is an adjunct faculty member at George Washington University, where she developed and teaches protocol courses to Event Management Certificate Program students in the School of Business and Public Management, and at Stratford University, Falls Church, VA. She serves also as protocol and special events consultant to the Library of Congress, the world’s largest library and cultural center. For 23 years, Mitchell was Director of Special Events and Public Programs at the Library of Congress where she and her staff were responsible for planning and managing over 400 events each year. She coordinated the institution’s major special events, visits of heads of state and other foreign dignitaries, fundraising galas, conferences and meetings. As the Library’s chief protocol advisor, she served as liaison to the White House, U.S Department of State, the Congress, the Supreme Court and other government agencies, foreign embassies, academia and corporations. Mitchell owns The Etiquette Advocate, Inc., a firm providing etiquette and protocol training to corporations, universities, embassies, government agencies, non-profit organizations and individuals. She is the etiquette consultant to Engaged! magazine, has been featured on Good Morning America, Fox 5 News, WTOP Radio and National Public Radio, and is quoted on matters of etiquette and protocol by the New York Times, Washington Business Journal, and the Washington Post. She is a co-owner of the firm, Protocol Partners-Washington Center for Protocol, Inc., and is a member of the Protocol and Diplomacy International Protocol Officers Association and the Women Business Owners of Montgomery Country (MD).

    Host: When is the best time to give year-end holiday gifts?

    Nancy Mitchell: Timing will vary depending on whether or not you will see the person near the holiday that you are celebrating or near the exact end of the year. Technically from December 1st on you can start giving holiday gifts. The different holidays that fall within December fall at different times of the month. So, do not worry so much about hitting a particular date.

    The most important thing is if you have an opportunity to present a gift in person, do so. So, if I am going to see a special friend on December 1st, I may give a Christmas gift. If I am going to see a special friend on December 15, but it is not right in the Hanukkah celebration, but maybe I am going to present a gift when I see the person anytime during the holidays, the month of December all the way into about the first half of January is perfectly appropriate for you to give a holiday gift.

    If you are going to send it check with the postal service, check with your catalog supplier, make sure that when you have decided when you want that gift to arrive, you have order it in time for the shipping to be able to take place within that time frame.