Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Rounding up advice on gift etiquette

Gift giving can present tricky situations for dealing with family and friends during the holidays.
Gift giving can present tricky situations for dealing with family and friends during the holidays.
  • Etiquette experts offer advice on dealing with sticky situations during holidays
  • There are nice ways to ask for cash, easy methods to say no to gift giving
  • Learn how to deal with rude shoppers or other people breaking in line

(CNN) -- Santa Claus faces one easy gift decision: naughty or nice. Nice kids get gifts, naughty ones don't.

But the rest of us face tougher dilemmas over the holidays, ranging from tight budgets to rudeness at the malls to tricky family and friend issues.

Some smart etiquette experts have been offering advice on these sticky situations. And it's been interesting to see readers' reactions to their suggestions.

These experts have collected their favorite bits of advice over the years -- such as one man's recommendation not to give his wife anything with an electrical cord attached.

In the past few years, some people have run into the cruel wall of recession and layoffs and haven't been able to spend as much as they usually do or maybe not give gifts at all. So experts offer ways to let family and friends know about the no gift situation and make everyone feel comfortable.

Gifts for geeks
Shopping alternatives to malls

And what if you don't want another ill-fitting sweater or other items your favorite aunt keeps sending? Is there a polite way to ask for cash instead? Or should you leave lists around?

Or what about all those people cutting in line and other rude shoppers who make you say things that could land you on Santa's naughty list? Our experts offer the Danish method for dealing with strangers or another procedure that involves drinking.

While the holidays are supposed to generate warm, fuzzy feelings, all that love can disappear quickly if your spouse or significant other hands you a blooper of a gift. So we offer dos and don'ts in that area.

Working our way down to the nitty-gritty of specific gifts, we offer suggestions for geeks and sports fans along with ideas of selected games and diamonds. There are also gifts that keep giving all year long and gifts to groups that really need the help.

But if you find yourself missing a gift in an awkward situation -- we have some possible solutions for that as well.

So read up and have a happy holiday season.

Part of complete coverage on
The missing gift dilemma
Whether it's a surprise White Elephant party or a co-worker's overzealous gift-giving spree -- here's tips for gift shortages.
Be a superhero to your geek
What would truly delight the geek in your life? It's nearly impossible to know if you don't share his or her peculiar tastes.
Bring back glamour to the holidays!
There's no reason why we can't have cultivated, old-timey holiday rituals and flourishes today as well.
Buy sports history for your fan
Imagine the joy on a sports fan's face as he opens his gift on Christmas. We'll help you sort through the many sites that sell sports items
Buying for a cause
If you want to feel twice as nice about holiday gift giving, try donating to a charity. Here is CNN's charitable gift guide with fun, practical presents>
Tech-toy gifts for kids of all ages
While your kid might not be coding just yet, it's not too soon to get him or her a tech-driven gift.
Best gifts for jobseekers
You probably know some people looking for work, and you may want to pay a little extra attention to what you buy them.
How to announce gift downsizing
Cutting back on gifts when you've been extravagant in the past isn't always easy. Our gift-giving experts offer some help.