My landlord always gives me a birthday gift. He is too kind I know, but he never delivers the gift by himself, instead he leaves it in the common kitchen.

Sometimes he also gives us a piece of cake by putting it somewhere in our common room. Sometimes he leaves something that I don't really know if it's meant to be for me or he just forgot to pick it up. I don't know if there is a need to communicate with him about this issue, because I find it really difficult to ask a person if they mean to give me a gift - nobody does!

I don't really understand this behavior because I deliver my gifts in person, and I receive gifts also in person (unless we live too far).

If I pick something he left and that wasn't meant for me, then it's really awkward, if I don't pick it up then, maybe he'll think I reject his gift.

Is it common to leave something in someone's house and expect them to think it's a gift for them?

  • Welcome to IPS! Please take the time to read our faq about writing questions. Also, I'm not sure I understand your question. Please note that asking "what should I do" is off-topic here. However, if there is something you want to communicate to someone, we can help with that. Could you edit to make your question more on topic and clearer?
    – Ael
    Mar 26, 2019 at 11:12
  • @Ælis I edited the question up to a bit, hope it's clear now.
    – Sam B
    Mar 26, 2019 at 11:30
  • Maybe we could help you communicate to your landlord that you would rather receiving the gift in person? Also, where do you leave? Answers might be different depending on the culture/country you are in.
    – Ael
    Mar 26, 2019 at 11:34
  • Or you might want to ask your landlord to make it clear when something is meant for you (so that you won't be wondering "is that a gift for me?")?
    – Ael
    Mar 26, 2019 at 11:35
  • 1
    @Ælis I live in France, and yeh i don't know how can someone communicate in this situation, you never knock on someone's door and ask if they intend to give you a gift, this is insane.
    – Sam B
    Mar 26, 2019 at 11:43

1 Answer 1


Background: kind of "old fashion" / "old school" education / "old" man :D with more than 25 years of living in France.

What you call "gift" isn't, stricto sensu, such a thing. I'd rather call that a "kind gesture". In your case, it's a non-verbal communication, and very friendly, because it's not intrusive.

It's intended to show appreciation. It's not unusual at all (1) (2).

It can be a small box of chocolate, a little note with some kind words, a flower, any tiny thing you do or leave behind you to let people know that you thought of them, appreciate them, and care about them.

It doesn't have to be an expensive item. It's a way of showing your mutual kindness.

Having said that, I believe that your relationship is pretty good with your landlord :) and it'll be easy for you to thank them next time. In person, with a small card, with a small gesture yourself. Anything that shows to them how much you appreciated, and that you're grateful.

1. some examples (family only, but works with friends too): visit Mom (90+ yo), nobody home, sweep and clean a couple of things she has hard time doing, leave a small note with a heart. She finds it when back home. Same with sister, just enter the room, no one here, drop a little box of home-made cookies and go (she would do the same at my house). With my GF, it's often a small note with a big heart, put on her chair. Or her favorite ice-cream and a "solve-the-mystery" puzzle game where she needs to find what's hidden and where. Stuff like that...

2. read more about thoughtful gestures with family/friends, small gesture, big impact, and even in business

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