Be humble, sit down.
Gift giving and receiving is an international love language, but not everyone speaks it. Some years you’re positively spoilt, receiving wonderful treats and newer, better versions of sorts, while others, its like navigating a minefield of haphazardous gifts and social exchanges. But take comfort in knowing you’re not alone and join us in a cheeky lol at some of the best and worst of gift giving situations below.
But before we commence, need us remind you that under every circumstance, one must always be grateful and gracious upon receiving a gift, no matter how bad. Which leads us to…
1. Suck it up and zip it
Opening the sentence with “I don’t want to be ungrateful, but…” does not excuse one of whatever words follow this statement. This is one of the few moments in life where a little diplomatic white lie is totally acceptable. We don’t care if you’ve received a gift you gave them last year, or you’ve received scented drawer liners from the $2 shop for the third year in a row, you slap on a smile and say “thank you”.
2. Enthusiasm is key
Be it from the bottom of your heart or from the bottom of those three drama lessons you took in year 8, finding enthusiasm is always a good idea. Whatever gift comes your way, an enthusiastic exchange can mask any hints of sarcasm or surprise.
3. The “Oh you shouldn’t have”
*No, like srsly. You shouldn’t have.*
It’s usually the gifts that really catch you off guard or have no relevance to your life whatsoever that are the most well thought-out from the gift giver (hard to believe, we know). So, like you would in any other situation, smile, and say “thank you”. Just give it a good few months before you chuck it up on marketplace or host a garage sale, promise?
4. When you didn’t know you were exchanging gifts
We’ll level with you on this one, this is a straight-up awkward situ to walk into. But it does happen. Remember to thank them sincerely and proceed with one of the following: A) admit you didn’t realise you were exchanging gifts (ain’t no shame in it) and suggest you’d love to take them out for a nice meal in the NY or B) lie. Tell them you have bought them something but you forgot to bring it, or you left it somewhere. But tread carefully, you will need to follow this one up.
5. Don’t keep going on about it…
If the gift is really bad, and the person who’s given it to you can sense it from your body language, affirm them that it’s a wonderful gift and you’re grateful for their thought and effort that went into it. But please, for the love of all things Christmas, do not go on and on about how much you love it. Allow them to move on from it. We’ve all received a bad gift before and we’ve all given a bad gift before. Your insincerity will only serve as a painful reminder to them for dropping the ball this time around.
5. Prep your poker face
If you’re one of those particularly elusive, hard to peg down kind of personalities or you’re merely a polar opposite to the rest of your family, you’ve probably accepted some pretty horrendous gifts in the past, and they’re probably all in a cupboard somewhere.
If you’re not an experienced veteran when it comes to accepting off-the-mark gifts, start with a well planned and executed poker face. Spend some time in front of the mirror and sort yours out, stat. You can thank us later.
7. When you give ~the~ bad gift…
Okay, okay we can’t nail every gift for every person every year. If someone gives you shade or lets their disappointment slip à la Hayden Panettiere style like this scene in Nashville, brush it off and move on. Do not try and justify it, or give them situations or context for that gift, it will only play detriment to their opinion of your character and could damage your relationship. That said, a cheeky “slim pickings out there this year” mightn’t go amiss to alleviate the heat.*
*friend dependent, discretion advised.
8. When they buy you something that’s three sizes too big
Before you dive into the self-implosive “So you think I’m fat??” scenario in your head, just know that some people will never understand. Like your ex-boyfriend’s mother for example. If she don’t like you, she’ll let you know about it. Or, they’ve never had daughters or something of that vein. People aren’t mind readers, and sometimes just have really bad judgement. They probably just thought it’d fit better slightly oversized that it would undersized, which btw, is totally rational. Have another mince pie and calm yourself.
9. “Isn’t this what you really wanted?”
STOP. Do not correct them. Quickly calculate (in your mind) if this is something you can return/exchange/sneakily re-gift, say “yes, absolutely” and pretend that they’ve nailed it. Blame yourself. Serves you right for dropping hints.
10. When you watch someone accept a bad gift…
As siblings, we’d be lying if we said we didn’t take pleasure in the art of observing poor-gift-accepting etiquette. Besides, you haven’t opened yours yet and the chances are yours is even more horrendous #karma.
11. When you know they know you better
Your jaw tenses and suddenly you’re parched *downs glass of champagne to summon response*. Arguably one of the more difficult scenarios to bring your gratitude to the surface, there’s nothing more gutting than the realisation that your SO got you completely wrong. What about the catalogues you circled, the tabs you left open on their laptop, tagging them in comment sections of giveaway competitions. I mean, you’ve done all the legwork here? Where is your dream gift?
We know it is tough, but suck it up girlfriend, count your blessings and you never know what’s around the corner. At the end of the day, having them in your life is a gift, right?
but not and probs least
When you count on the last gift to totally blow your socks off because LBH they’ve been trying to hold your attention all morning with a grin on their face, all signs are pointing to an epic gift in store. Then you unwrap it and it’s a carton of mints with Will Ferrell on it because you quoted Anchorman earlier in the month. Ahhhh rats.
Oh well. So this wasn’t your year and you pumped hundreds into all of your gifts for everyone else. It’s fine. It’s only 365 days until next Christmas. It can only get better next year, surely?