When deciding whether or not to send someone a funny gift, consider the following two things in order to avoid potentially embarrassing your receiver. First and most importantly, consider your relationship with the recipient in judging the appropriateness of your humour. A secretary, for example, should not give her married boss a suggestive gift on the occasion of his retirement, and likewise, a boss should not give his secretary such a gift in recognition of her tenth anniversary with the firm. Second, consider the occasion, and err on the side of conservatism whenever doubt exists as to whether or not it calls for humour. It is never appropriate, for example, to give a gag gift to a bride or groom on their wedding day, nor is ever acceptable to send a card or gift that makes fun of something personal such as personal appearance, health or age.
Unless you are absolutely positive of the recipient’s sense of humour, it is better, as a rule, not to send gifts that are humorous if there’s a chance they might offend. If you simply cannot resist the temptation to yuk it up at your friend’s expense, practice at least some degree of restraint in choosing the gift by keeping a few common-sense rules of etiquette in mind. Always consider carefully your receivers audience at the time your gift is revealed. Will there be children present at the party? Will someone’s wife be offended by what your gift implies? Ask yourself if a loved one’s feelings might be hurt when they open up a gift that makes fun of their personality, their physical appearance or their age?
Even if your recipient seems to possess a great sense of humour when he or she is alone with you, that does not indicate a green light for you to give a funny gift that teases. Always remember that there are people out there who enjoy dishing it out and playing their jokes upon others, but when the tables are turned, they cannot take your ribbing no matter how harmless it may seem to be. It is in this way that some people are more selective than others in maintaining a sense of humour. If this is the case with your friend, you are a better off in taking the high road than in choosing a gift that may cause his haunches to rise. Remember too that what you and your friend once shared as a private joke between you many years ago, may not seem so funny to him now. Understand and accept that with maturity, a person’s perception as to what is funny and what is not may change with time.
So think twice before you decide to send or give a funny gift, and always remember that a gift is more than just a gift, it is an affirmation of the relationship that you share with your recipient right now. If you do decide to send a funny gift, be sure that it is one that will not only make the recipient laugh but that his guests will laugh as well. An appropriately funny gift should also turn out, somehow, to be useful later on, after the occasion has passed.
Does all of this serious talk about gift giving take the wind out of your sails when it comes to showing your good cheer? Well, don’t let it, because there are certain types of gifts that you can give that do manage to tickle a funny bone while remaining well within the bounds of what most people would consider acceptable humour.
Traditionally, these gifts are items which are not normally given as gifts, but for the circumstances of the occasion make them funny in and of themselves. The young graduate, for example, who is sure to set the world afire, may be given a fancy lighter to start him blazing down his path.
Gifts of anticipation can also be humorous in a good-hearted in a unique and sentimental way, and these gifts are the easiest to give when one’s financial situation does not allow for something bigger. As an example, a young sailing enthusiast might be given a world map wrapped up with a card that expresses something like the following : We hope that the enclosed map will help you to find all of the treasures of the world, and, the quickest way back home should you find yourself in need of a hot shower and a place to get your laundry done for free.
One last thing to keep in mind when choosing funny gifts for women, as a rule, woman are less appreciative of such things, especially when the gift is given by a male. According to a large-scale survey, the percentage of females who are receptive to receiving funny gifts is very insignificant in comparison to men. The reason is not likely to be that women, in general, lack the sense of humour of men, but more likely, it is because most women do not like to be made to feel as though they are being laughed at in any way. Just as women don’t commonly like to talk about their age, neither do they want to be reminded of it by the so-called funny cards and gifts they are bound to receive when turning yet another year.
In general occasions of gift giving are taken more seriously by women and by nature, women are more sensitive, and more likely, therefore, to be upset by someones clumsy attempt at being funny. It is always best with women to be sincere in your attempt to recognize an important occasion; always remember that with women, it is not about the gift itself, its about the thought that you put into picking it out for them. For her, it is your intention that turns a humbly wrapped trinket into precious treasure every time.