Archive for January 5, 2013

How Do You React to a Gift You Don’t Like?

Every Christmas we inevitably receive a bunch of gifts we don’t want to keep. Sometimes we receive a gift slip in the box, but more often then not we have no way of returning the item we received. In fact, many times we don’t even know where the gift was purchased.

When I was growing up my mom had a rule about gift giving. If she gave us a gift we didn’t like she asked that we let her know so that she could return it. She absolutely hated the idea of wasting good money by purchasing something that would hang unworn in our closet or that would end up in a box headed directly for the donation center.¬†Over the years I’ve openly told her to take back anything that didn’t fit or simply wasn’t my style.

This is in direct contrast to the way my husband’s family works. In his family you never tell the gift giver that you don’t like something they purchased. Unfortunately this often results in receiving the same unwanted item year after year. It’s not the gift givers fault. I believe they assume you like the gift since you never told them otherwise. In fact, I’ve seen family members feign excitement over a gift they’ll never use.

So what’s the rule in your family? Do you tell the gift giver that you don’t like a gift or do you smile and accept it without saying a word?

If you keep the gift what do you do with it? Do you attempt to return it without a receipt, list it on eBay, donate it or re-gift it? Have you ever thought of telling the gift giver you wanted to return the item for a different size, style, etc?

I personally hate the idea of wasting money on an item someone doesn’t want. I wish every one close to me would tell me the truth, (in a tactful manner), even if that meant every single gift I bought was returned.

What do you think? Would you be offended if someone told you they wanted to return the gift you gave them?

**NOTE** – It seems I should have been clearer in this post. I am specifically talking about close family members. For example, children, parents or spouses. I am in no way implying that you should make a comment about gifts you receive from classmates, friends, neighbors, etc. In those cases you should certainly smile and say thank you. I learned that lesson as a very small child. In fact, you shouldn’t make comments to anyone about a gift unless you know they will be receptive to it. (Like in the case of my own mom.)

January 5, 2013 at 7:30 PM 9 comments


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