Rules Of Etiquette For When Christmas Gifting Goes Wrong!

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Try not to let it show if you don't like it!
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Try not to let it show if you don't like it!

The exchanging of gifts is the exciting bit of Christmas. Ripping open that present in front of the giver, exclaiming in delight, air-kissing a thank you is all part of the festive fun. But what if you hate it? And what if you haven’t got a gift to give back? Follow our tips for advice…
Muster up a thank you even if you hate it!
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Muster up a thank you even if you hate it!

You hate the gift

No matter how much you hate it, please say thank you! Don’t let that scowl creep over your face and roll your eyes in horror at the awful gift nestling in your hands. After a polite acknowledgement offer a festive tipple as a diverting tactic and deposit the present out of sight in the kitchen so no further discussion is necessary.
Looks familiar!
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Looks familiar!

You gave it to them the previous year

You eagerly unwrap that funny-shaped gift wondering what on earth it could be, then look up, crestfallen, as you realise it was the lovingly chosen quirky cat ornament you gave to them last Christmas. Force a smile, exclaim your thanks at their impeccable taste, and make a vow to give it back to them again next year, as if nothing ever happened.
Always keep emergency biscuits to hand
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Always keep emergency biscuits to hand

You haven’t got a gift in return

The doorbell pings and outside is a harassed-looking mum from school brandishing a gift at you, grinning manically. Caught on the hop, you can’t even remember her name, let alone have a ready-wrapped present waiting in the wings. Be grateful and trot out a line about being a bit behind this year with gift buying and you’ll drop it round. Or grab a tin of emergency biscuits and thrust it at her with a disarming grin, “Sorry, Johnny opened them… only a few missing.”
You haven't noticed I've lost 2 stone then...
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You haven't noticed I've lost 2 stone then...

Wrong size

It’s been a tough year but you’ve achieved your target dress size. Busty Bridget turns up at your party and makes a big show of making sure you open her gift first, in front of everyone. A shocking pink sack top four sizes too big. Exclaim: “Lovely, thank you – plenty of room to grow into that then!” Then shuffle off, vowing to buy her a size 6 bikini next year to return the humiliation. Consider asking for the receipt “so you can get something in the right size.” 
Double take: ask for the receipt if you already have it
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Double take: ask for the receipt if you already have it

Already got it

If it turns out you already have the present it should be acceptable to exclaim your delight at how the giver got the choice of gift spot on – as you already have it! Then perhaps enquire politely whether you could exchange it and whether they have the receipt? Slightly embarrassing if they don’t, but you can smooth it over by saying you’ll ask at the shop about an exchange. A legitimate situation where you can ask for the receipt!
Make sure Marge and Trevor are still in rude health
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Make sure Marge and Trevor are still in rude health

Died/divorced and didn't know

So you pop round to see the old couple at the end of the road, armed with a little gift to cheer up their Christmas. With a cheery smile you hand it over to the lady who answers, saying “Please pass it on to Marge and Trevor, just a little something they’ll enjoy.” The lady glares back at you and spits out “I doubt it, they both passed away in June,” as she closes the door. Offer to donate it to their favourite charity through the letterbox.
Busted!
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Busted!

It's broken

You thought it was a bit odd when they dropped the present round and declined a "glass of something", rather, making a hasty exit with a hurried “Happy Christmas” flung over their shoulder. On opening it you find a nice gift that is, quite obviously, broken. The handle is no longer attached and you’re pretty sure you didn’t drop it, stamp on it then violently shake it. Casually mention it when you see them? Glue it back together? Drop it in the bin? No easy answer!
No tags? Probably been worn already
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No tags? Probably been worn already

Preloved present

Your friend’s been building up the greatness of her gift to you for months: “You’ll love it! Can’t wait to see your face when you open it!” So you do and revealed is a nice enough top, but you quickly realise there are no tags on it, it’s covered in cat hair and smells a bit like fried eggs. She's already worn it? You bet. Keep a mental note to return the ‘favour’ the following Christmas with that jumper you dribbled toothpaste down last week.
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