In the spirit of giving, we assembled this guide to help you offend as few people as possible:
1. Should you get your boss a gift? No, says Letitia Baldrige, author of New Manners for New Times. You don't want to come across as an "apple polisher." A card saying how great it's been to work for her is enough. If she gives you a gift? "It doesn't mean you have to reciprocate," says Sue Fox, author of Etiquette for Dummies.
2. A friend gives you a gift; you didn't get her one Resist the urge to buy her something. "Just write the most beautiful thank-you note," Baldrige says. "Otherwise it means you're giving her a gift because you feel guilty." Next time you see her, just don't forget a plate of homemade brownies.
3. Dealing with ungrateful children Kids want fun stuff that makes lots of noise. And when they don't get it, outbursts like "Clothes aren't a present!" and "I don't like this!" can be embarrassing. "Humor is a great tool," says humor consultant Malcolm Kushner. "It reduces tension." If you're the gift giver, say, "I hated it too. That's why I'm giving it away." If you're the parent, try, "That's just his way of saying thank you." Later, talk to your child about gratitude.
4. Saying Merry Christmas to strangers It's fine to say to the post-office clerk without interrogating him about his religion. Anyone who responds with a Scrooge-like remark is the unmannerly one, not you, says Baldrige. "If they rebuff you, just forget about it and walk away."
5. Sending an evite For a casual party, e-mail is fine. But an e-mail to a formal soirée is akin to wearing jeans to a wedding, says Fox. When in doubt, send it by mail.
Must-Read: How 23 Normal People Are Changing the World
13 Things Your Mall Santa Won't Tell You
20 Secrets Your Waiter Won't Tell You
15 Foods You Should Never Buy Again
11 Biggest Red Flag Words on Packaged Foods
13 Things Your Barista Won't Tell You
13 Things Your Dentist Wants You to Know
13 Things a Movie Theater Employee Won't Tell You
13 Hotel Secrets You Should Know
13 Things the Pizza Guy Won't Tell You
19 Weight Loss Secrets From Around the World
Get more insider secrets and sign up for our newsletters.