‘Tis the season for giving, but that also means you will likely be on the receiving end and as you know, not all gifts are home runs. Whether it’s your mom, your boss or your BFF who (bless her heart) just can’t seem to get it through her head that mustard is NOT your color, someone in your life is prone to giving you gifts that really test your social graces. Just remember, even a bad gift is a gift for which to be grateful. The best and worst Christmas gifts come from the same place—the heart. So here are our tried and true tips on how to accept these “unique” gifts with grace and class.
1. Check Your Expectations
The infamous “bad gifter” approaches with a present. Or, this could be a new gifter with which you have no experience in gift receiving, hence they are a wild card to be feared. Either way, do not get your hopes up about what’s in the box. Recognize your greed and smother it in gratitude by repeating the mantra “how thoughtful, how thoughtful.”
As you accept the gift and unwrap it, smile. Then keep that smile plastered on your face as if your life depends on it. Feel the corners of your mouth uplift and commit the feeling to muscle memory. Do not, I repeat, do not drop that grin. Smile hard through any gut reaction you may have to a cringe-worthy gift.
3. Say Thank You
Immediately say “thank you!” with plastered smile in tow. Now, you may think you are out of the woods if you received the gift while not in front of the gifter, but that only really saved you from putting on a show to cover your natural reaction. You, too, have to say “thank you” or send them a thank you note. They thought of you. They picked out a gift. They bought it, wrapped it and made sure your received it. Your “thank you” goes to all of that effort as well, not just the object in question.
4. Muster up a Compliment
We know you don’t like lying and we’re not saying you should. But there has to be something about the gift itself that you can compliment. Maybe it’s the color, the uniqueness of the gift, or how warm it would seem to keep you (if you wouldn’t rather freeze to death than wear a velour track suit, that is). Complimenting the gift is just a little less dismissive than saying, “Oh, how thoughtful.” They know it was thoughtful. What they really wanted is for you to like the gift. Anything you can say to that effect will be appreciated.
5. Sit With It
Even though it may have been hate at first sight, don’t kick your new gift to the curb just yet. Before you start plotting how you will be rid of it, take it home and keep it where you can see it just for a few days. It may just grow on you! Or if it’s something you can wear but wouldn’t dare be seen wearing in public, maybe it could be your next Netflix binge outfit. Comfy is comfy, people. Everyone looks the same level of stylish under the glow of a flat screen TV.
6. Regift It
So you gave it a shot but the final verdict is in—you hate it. It’s curtains for this gift. Before you toss it into the trash to take space in landfill, consider giving it to someone you know will really love it and give it a good home. Include full disclosure. You don’t want to earn accolades on a gift you didn’t pick out yourself and buy with your own money. Also, try to make sure the new giftee won’t bump into the original gifter. It goes without saying that would be awkward. If you really can’t think of someone who would like the gift, consider donating the item to a local charity, clothing drive, etc.
7. Come Clean, if Necessary
How many times has someone asked about a gift they gave you a while back? They may ask how it’s working out, if it fits or, flat out, why they never see you with it. If this inquiry comes up after some time has passed, it’s probably safe to tell the truth, but deliver the news gently! “You know, it wasn’t really my taste but my neighbor loved it so I gave it to her.” Always follow up with another “thank you for thinking of me.”
However, if they ask about the gift the very next day, a little white lie might not be so bad. Maybe tell them you just haven’t had a chance to use it. It’s the holidays after all. Busy, busy!
We hope you found these tips helpful and a well-deserved break from last minute online shopping for the holidays. Remember, Ebatesalways gives you the extra bang for your buck with coupons, promo codes and Cash Back.
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Briana is a shopaholic whose newest obsession is matching top-and-skirt sets (but she also can’t resist a good jumpsuit). She loves rock music, horror movies and is an all-around pop culture junkie. She is, without fail, always down for karaoke. Her blog, Mamafierce, is a chronicle of personal fashion, body positivity and the adventures of motherhood. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, three-year-old son and tortoiseshell cat, Divvy.