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Gifts vs. Presents

Posted by Ward Fredericks on December 01, 2003

In a discussion with a great Aussie blond (who will be nameless here) the topic of gifts vs presents came up. With some little reflection I told her that in my part of the western US there is some little difference, and that I personally use gift when I am talking about something given to an acquaintance or a business associate -- i.e a gift is given without necessarily a lot of affection. We give housewarming gifts to celebrate a new home of a friend or acquaintance.
We give presents to our family and to those people where there is an affectionate relationship.

Is there any rhyme or reason for the distinction elsewhere in the English speaking world?