Gift etiquette.

December 21, 2006

I was listening to a radio talk show yesterday, when a woman called in to comment on the topic at hand: Holiday etiquette and gifts. I listened, dumbfounded, as the woman and the show host agreed that if you are given a gift you don’t particularly like, it’s okay to say to the giver, “Thanks for thinking of me. Perhaps I should exchange this gift, if you don’t mind, for something I’d use more often.”

Can you imagine?  Can you?  I mean, am I wrong in thinking this is…wrong?

We’re not talking here about gifts that are duplicates or are the wrong sizes…we’re talking about gifts that you don’t like because you didn’t hand pick them out for yourself.  So you were given a book about Germany, and you would rather read about Peru.  You know what? I think you should go ahead and read about Germany, because the point of a gift is that it’s about the giver as much as the recipient, and if they think there is something interesting about Germany, well hey, maybe there is.  Gifts open us up to new experiences and interests because we did not pick them out ourselves.

So if you are reading this and you get a gift from me this year that you’re none too thrilled with, let me assure you that under no circumstances is it acceptable to do anything at all but smile and say “thank you.”

That’s it. Simple, really. Good manners usually are.

One Response to “Gift etiquette.”

  1. caveblogem said

    Jeepers, what show was that? I’ve exchanged gifts before, but only when I am absolutely sure there is no way the giver could possibly find out that I did so.

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