We’ve all been there. That magical moment when you are excitingly unwrapping a present, thinking of the amazing possibilities and the wonders that lie under the red and white sparkly gift wrap and bows. From a new iPhone to those boots you’ve been dying to get all year, your mind is racing thinking of what the gift could be. You finally get through the gift wrap and…. a pair of socks. Every holiday season, we are faced with dealing with those horribly awkward moments when you receive a bad gift.
“I remember one year someone gave my brothers and I some “high-end” beef jerky from this famous deli…I’m a vegetarian,” sophomore Meg Hua said. “I ended up feeding it to my dog.”
Although you might not be able to change the gift, you can still change the way you deal with receiving it. Whether the present you received is not suited for you or you already own it, you should always try to stay positive and put yourself in the gift-giver’s shoes while trying to think of the proper reaction. It’s important to remember that someone has taken money or time out to spend on your gift; the least you can do is respectfully accept it and show thanks. In the end, having to work a fake little smile and laugh is much better than hurting someone’s feelings.
“My mom bought me girls’ underwear as a present because she didn’t realize they were for girls, so I pretended I liked them and told her thanks and I laughed about it later,” junior Mohaned Zyoud said.
Often times, the word present or gift triggers an explosion of excitement in people, but this over-excitement is where people go wrong. Don’t expect the world’s best gift. Extremely high expectations and standards for a gift will only lead to disappointment.
“My least favorite gift to get is books because I don’t like to read very much,” freshman Ryan Flynn said. “If I get something I don’t like, I just act like I like it so I don’t make the gift-giver feel bad.”
When you receive a bad gift, remember that it is just a material item, and not the end of the world. You can always exchange the gift later on.
“One year my grandma gave me a series of books for a gift even though I really don’t like to read; I couldn’t tell if she was being serious or if it was a joke, so I acted like it was the best gift I had ever gotten and I took one book out and ‘started reading’ right away,” junior Erika Alwes said. “The next week was my friend’s birthday so I re-gifted it to her because she actually enjoys reading.”
Re-gifting is always an option, but it comes with messy complications if not done right. It is extremely important that you never re-gift the gift to someone who is in the same circle of friends as the person who originally gave you the bad gift, the last thing you want is for people to feel bad and find out that you are giving away the gift that they picked out for you. Also, always remember to take the card out of the present, no one wants to feel like they’re receiving a gift that isn’t intended for them.
If the gift is useful but just not for you or you already own it, donating is a great option. Giving gifts to less fortunate kids during the holiday season is a good way to give back. Donating to organizations like Toys for Tots or Make a Wish Foundation is a great way to make the holiday season more memorable and sometimes giving is more rewarding than getting.