Holiday Hustle: Dos and Don’ts for Receiving Unwanted Gifts

presentsWe’ve all been there — we opened a holiday gift that we didn’t dream of ever receiving. It’s tough to sound grateful for a gift we don’t like, but any gift is a gift worth appreciation. However, sounding grateful when we’re disappointed is tough, so we came up with a few dos and don’ts for receiving unwanted gifts.

Do say thank you. Show your gratitude for the thought and give an example of a practical way you can use the gift (even if you aren’t planning to).

Don’t send the wrong message. This just means not to say you like the gift or love the gift. Politely compliment the giver by saying it’s a very caring gift or that it must have taken a lot of thought to come up with it. This way you’re not giving them the green light to duplicate the gift for future events, but you’re not insulting them, either.

Do pause before you react. Take a drink of water if you have to — it helps you buy a little bit of time to compose your best acceptance

Don’t be too excited. If you act excited on the outside and you’re disappointed on the inside, people are going to be able to tell. Let actors do the acting — you’re free to be human.

Do deflect. Pull the ugly sweater out of the box and show it off to the other people in the room to take the attention off of your face and emotions and put it on the gift. This method allows you to be gracious without lying.

Do consider who the giver is. If it’s a spouse, it may require a conversation in private about what you do like and need — you don’t want your spouse to keep giving you similar gifts you don’t like. If the gift is from someone a little further outside your inner circle, thanking them and moving on is enough.

Don’t accept gifts for the following holiday. If the person who gave you the gifts you don’t like repeatedly gives you bad gifts, send out a polite note before the next holiday stating that your family isn’t accepting gifts and you want friends and family to save their money to spend it on things they need.

Do find a nice home for the gift. Regifting is acceptable as long as it’s going to someone who would genuinely appreciate it. If that’s not an option, try to think of ways to repurpose the item. In the worst case scenario, you can donate the gift to a thrift store where someone who likes it might choose to take it home.


The Lakeside Collection has hundreds of ideas for the gift-giving challenged! We have something to make the holiday season a little bit more jolly for everyone — try our Perfect Present Gift App to select gifts your friends and family will adore.

1 Response

  1. You are awesome I am always impressed with your catalogs with your products and now the edit kit for Christmas Merry Christmas to you and a happy new year P says:

    I am always impressed with your products with your catalog with your customer service and greatly appreciate your customer etiquette for Christmas gifts wishing you a Merry Christmas and a prosperous new year

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *