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Never give a gift without a card.
Including an actual card with the gift is important – whether the present is small and calls for a short and sweet message, or more significant and in need of a more thoughtful, personalized note.
Don’t disregard presentation.
Wrap the gift yourself with paper you bought or the Sunday funnies, or get it gift-wrapped at the store. Alternatively, use a gift bag of a box that could be re-used. Do it however you’d like – just make sure that the item is covered in some way so as to maintain an element of surprise.
Make sure to give the gift receipt with the gift.
This is both smart and thoughtful. It lets the recipient know that while you hope they enjoy the gift, if it isn’t to their liking they should feel comfortable returning or exchanging it.
It’s simply not worth the embarrassment you’d experience if you were to get caught.
Even if you don’t go to an event, it’s still nice to acknowledge having been invited with a gift.
This is specifically in reference to special events such as weddings, baby showers and bar and bat mitzvahs. Giving a gift even though you aren’t attending shows the person who invited you that you are thinking of them at this special time.