Dos and Don’ts on Disappointing Christmas Gifts


From sweaters in nightmarish colour combinations to reindeer coffee mugs and red noses – Christmas gifts are not always a joy to receive. Although, the holiday shopping season starts earlier than ever, some people can fail to choose for you the present of your dreams. So, what should you do in such situations?

Female-Christmas-Present-2Do show that you are thankful – You may not like or need a present you have received, but do show that you are thankful for it, especially if you see that it has been carefully and beautifully wrapped up. After all, it is the thought that counts. Furthermore, although gift giving is part of the holiday tradition, do not make the holiday revolve around items. Instead, focus on the people you love and care about the most.

Don’t re-gift it – When a present is not appreciated by one person, it may be perfect for another. Nevertheless, re-gifting something that was been given to you is rarely a good idea. As a start, the person who bought the present may eventually find out. That could strain the relations between you two. Secondly, by re-gifting a present, you show lack of thoughtfulness towards another person.

Do return it or swap it – Finding a nice gift for someone can be a hard task, even if you know the person very well. You probably already know that from personal experience. Often, the present may come in the wrong colour, size or model. If that is the case, do not hesitate to go to the store and return it or swap it for an item that is more of your choice. In that way, both sides, giver and receiver, will be happy at the end.

Don’t throw it away – Now that we have crossed out “re-gifting” as an option, you should not rush to the garbage bin. Don’t throw away a present, even if you hate it. Instead, you can donate it. In that way, you will give it to someone who will be able to use it. No, do not confuse re-gifting with giving something away. With the first, you masquerade an old gift as a new one just so you don’t have to waste time, money and though on looking for something meaningful and important. With giving away, you know that what you do not want will make someone happy. Moreover, you don’t hide behind the context of a special occasion to hand it over. Nevertheless, it is best to wait for some time to pass before you take that step.

When Rules Can Be Broken

Like with most things, these rules come with a few interesting exceptions. Simply put, you should not follow them blindly.

Do re-gift – Sometimes, it is not what you re-gift, but how you re-gift it. For instance, if you get a picture frame for Christmas, but you don’t really need one, you can give it a present to a friend. To make this exception, however, you will need to throw some efforts. For instance, take the time to personalize the frame. Add a photo of you two, a small collage or a personal message. That will make the present more special and it will definitely make it thoughtful.

Don’t keep a straight face – Being polite and thankful can be impossible if the present in question looks used, broken or dirty. In such cases, it would be exaggerated to see the gift as a gesture and an act of thoughtfulness.

When You Are the Giver

What about if you are on the other side? What if you are not the person who gets to receive a disappointing present, but the one to give it? There are a few quick things you should remember to avert the crisis.

Do Pay for Gifts in Cash

If the receiver of your Christmas gift wants to return or swap you gift, it is always better if you have used cash to pay for it at the store. Retailers are more likely to return or swap items if they were bought with cash money.

Do Give the Receipt

Don’t hesitate to put an envelope with the receipt in the present box. Many people will appreciate that, especially if they don’t like the gift. In that way, they will be able to exchange it if necessary. Another thing you can do is let the receiver know you still keep the receipt and you can send it in case the gift has to be returned. Receipts are also needed when the product turn up to be faulty.

Now you can relax! Even if you end up hating some of your Christmas gift or give a present that turns out to be unwanted and unappreciated, there is always a solution. But, again, the presents are just a small part of the holiday.


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