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Christmas Gift Etiquette: To Return or Not to Return?

Christmas Gift Returns Etiquette

Sometimes, the  holidays bring with them the awkward situation of receiving gifts you’re not really crazy about from people you absolutely love. With this conundrum comes the age old question: Is it ok to return or re-gift something you don’t like or want? Considering the sensitive nature of the situation, a tactful response is in order. Read ahead for a few tips on how to handle the gift-return predicament in the most delicate of ways.

Christmas Gift Returns Etiquette

Christmas Gift Etiquette: To Return or Not to Return?

1. Firstly, ALWAYS be grateful: No matter the situation or the gift, always show your gratitude for it. The fact remains that you were on their mind when they set this aside for you. They may not have gotten it right, but the intention was there and that’s what counts. Be gracious about the matter.

2. Returning for cash is not ok: You may not love the gift you received, but it’s not ok to run back to the store and try to get cash for it. That’s just petty. The thought is worth much more than anything on the price tag. Instead, try to exchange it for a different item.

3. Exchanges are ok: You can likely get away with exchanging the item for a different size, color or variation. You can even take it back to the store and choose something a little different under the guise that they’d run out of the item you received. But always say thank you and relay the situation to the person who gave you the gift so they won’t feel slighted.

4. Re-gift carefully: If you receive an unwanted item from someone you’re not very close with and decide you want to re-gift it, make sure it’s to someone who will not likely every meet the person who gave you the item in the first place. If it’s a personalized item, re-gifting is unlikely. Instead, consider selling it and donating the profits to a favorite charity.

5. If the gift is from someone you are very close with: Sometimes, the best response is to say, “Thank you,” and keep the gift. If you’re very close with the person who has given you the item, then sparing their feelings is the most important thing. Keep it around and bring it out often enough so they’ll know you appreciated the gesture. Remember: The whole point of the gift is the thought and effort behind it. Everything else is just details.

How do you handle re-gifting and returns?


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