Everyone’s gone through it: getting a gift that you didn’t like. This happens because sometimes the gift-giver is a new acquaintance who doesn’t know you enough: what your interests or tastes are. Or they’re really not into gift-giving. So, how should you deal with it? Should you take it and say something nice despite being thoroughly disappointed in the gift? Or, in the spirit of not saying anything that isn’t nice, just remain mum? This is especially awkward when you’re with relatives and they watch you while opening your present.
For the part of the gift-giver, knowing that their presents are not well appreciated leaves them with a terrible feeling of rejection. Take note: they have invested money and effort in purchasing it for you. Therefore, finding a courteous way of dealing with the situation will help you and the gift giver.
Compose yourself. Before you even open the gift in front of the gift-giver, psyche yourself up to appreciating whatever it is. This way, even if the gift is disappointing, because you’ve mentally and emotionally prepared yourself to be positive, you will follow through with your commitment.
No matter what—say thank you. Yes, manners matter, always. Watch your tone, say thank you right away after opening the gift, and smile despite the disappointment. It’s not the gift that counts, it’s your relationship with the gift-giver.
If prodded, say something nice about the gift. While it’s enough to say thank you, if the gift giver insists on getting your reaction, find at least one nice feature of the gift, whether it is about the color or the brand, let the gift-giver know that you find at least one thing nice about the present – without letting them know that the rest of it sucks.
Keep it to yourself or recycle discreetly. Now, this will depend on how close you are to the gift giver. If it happens to be someone close to you or your family (like your mother-in-law), make sure that you display, wear or show the gift-giver that the gift is in use. Remember, it’s your relationship that counts, not the gift.
However, if you got the gift from an acquaintance, there’s nothing wrong with recycling the gift. Just remember not to give it back to the gift giver by mistake! Considering the economy and your finances, don’t just grin and bare it. Do something useful with it. If the best way for you to deal with it is to give it away, take into consideration why you’re giving it away: is it because it’s an extra or is it because you just hate it. If you wouldn’t wish it on anyone, then don’t give it away. But if it’s nice however you just have too much of it already (either décor or baby toys, etc.) then it’s okay.
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You know what they always say—it’s the thought that counts. Truly, it really is. No matter how disappointing or thoughtless the gift may be for you or your child, imagine what the gift-giver had to go through to express his or her affection for you. You don’t want to break somebody’s heart, do you? So at the end of the day, always remember to walk away with the unfavorable gift in a gracious and thoughtful manner.