Gift Giving Etiquette in Germany | Unique Gifter

Gift Giving Etiquette in Germany

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Germany is a conservative country, in their tastes for gifts, as well as food and more. If you are traveling to Germany or giving a gift to a German native, there are some things you might want to know before choosing the gift. While they are conservative in tastes, quality gifts of the right type are appreciated.

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Read more in our gift giving etiquette series:

Germany Gift Giving Customs

  • When invited into their home, it’s custom to give the woman flowers and the man a bottle of wine. You can also have the flowers wrapped as a gift at the shop for a nice touch.
  • It’s customary for the receiver to open the gift when it is received.
  • Christmas gifts are opened by children on Christmas Eve, once any religious celebrations and customs are done.

Giving Gifts to Germans

  • If you are staying in a family’s home, you can choose books about your country for their coffee table or other things from your country that they might find interesting.
  • Sometimes a good quality silk scarf is a good gift for the woman of the house.
  • Make sure to send a thank you card to the host or hostess for inviting you into their home.
A Riese & Müller Multicharger HS longtail cargo bike loaded with Ortlieb pannier bags and christmas presents and parked up in a scenic wintery landscape during sunrise.

Business Gift Giving Customs & Etiquette in Germany

  • Small gifts are polite, especially when first meeting someone. They aren’t always expected, but they will be appreciated.
  • If you get a substantial gift, avoid giving it in private. Any substantial gifts should be given in an official and public setting. They may be misconstrued.
  • Good quality pens and quality office items with your company’s logo on them are good choices as gifts.

Gift Giving Occasions in Germany

  • Weddings
  • Birthdays
  • Housewarming
  • Easter
  • May Day
  • Mother’s Day
  • Father’s Day
  • Weinfests in July/August
  • Schultute (the first day of school)
  • Oktoberfest
  • Thanksgiving
  • St. Nicholas Day – December 6th
  • Christmas
  • New Year’s Eve

Gift Giving Tips in Germany

  • Shops tend to close early on Saturdays and Sunday shopping is rare. Therefore, you may want to plan your gift shopping ahead of time.
  • Credit cards are rarely accepted at restaurants, so if you are paying for a restaurant meal, you need to ask the waiter.
  • Yellow roses and tea roses are good choices for gifts.
  • Make sure you are giving wine imported from France or Italy, as German wine is considered cheap and distasteful as a gift.

Gift Giving Don’ts

  • Don’t give substantial gifts in private.
  • Avoid red roses as they are seen as romantic gifts.
  • Carnations should be avoided as well, as they are for mourning.
  • Pointed objects of any kind, not just knives, are seen as bad luck for wedding gifts. Money is also a bad gift for a wedding, unless you are a family member.
  • Avoid things that are obviously pricey, as this may make the receiver feel like they owe you something in return.

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