International Gift Giving Etiquette - Spain

GIFT GIVING IN SPAIN*- Gift Giving Etiquette


  • There is a tradition in Spain of companies giving their employees a hamper or basket of food and drink at Christmas [families and friends exchange presents on the Feast of the Epiphany (6 January)].

  • In ordinary Spanish business culture, however, gifts are usually given only at the conclusion of successful negotiations.

  • If you receive a gift, you should open it immediately and in front of the giver.

  • When offering any gift, you should ensure that it is a high-quality item [perhaps a brand-name] and that it is finely wrapped; it should advertise your company name only if it is a fine pen or a tasteful desk accessory.

  • You should not give anything too extravagant as your generosity may be perceived as a bribe.

  • If you can travel prepared, representative local artefacts and coffee-table books about your home region will usually be appreciated as gifts. University or sports team shirts and caps can be good choices for your colleagues' children.

  • If unprepared, a bottle of fine brandy or whisky will always be appreciated.

  • If you are invited to a Spanish home, you should take chocolates, dessert items such as pastries, or flowers [not dahlias, chrysanthemums, white lilies or red roses, and an odd number of blooms that is not thirteen].






*Dray, Paul.  Spain Business Etiquette - Gift Giving.  Executive Planet.  16 Aug. 2004  <>.

Above:  The flag of Spain











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