We’ve all received gifts at one time or another that we were less than thrilled about. Most of us know the polite thing to do after opening a gift in front of the giver is to smile and say thank you, regardless of how we truly feel inside about said present. Sometimes gift giving can get tricky though. As a practical person, I have a hard time keeping a gift that I know I’ll never use, even if I know the gift giver put thought, time and effort into selecting it. I think of the money that was spent and it always seems like such a waste to me instead of exchanging it for something that I’d actually use and enjoy. That probably sounds terrible, but I know I’m not alone. As someone who loathes clutter, to me it ends up being one more thing to store in a closet which is the opposite of how I like to keep my home.
On the flip side, when I buy gifts for my husband or family members, I always want to check in and make sure they like it and let them know if it’s not of their taste or they don’t feel they’ll use it, that I won’t be offended if they do want to exchange it or even get a refund and use the money towards something they will in fact appreciate. Over the years, I’ve never really had too many gift ‘returns’, just the odd clothing item here or there for my husband that didn’t fit properly.
Recently, I created some personalized photo gifts and had so much fun selecting which photos I’d use and how I’d lay the pictures out. When I was done and ordered the items, I had a smile on my face thinking about how the recipient would be happy to receive them, after all, they were homemade gifts for very close family who appreciates sentimental photos and anything with a creative touch. Well, you can imagine my surprise then, when I found out they didn’t appreciate one of them nearly as much as I thought they would. This person (a male) is practical just like I am, and didn’t want to see an item with the best intentions being shoved to the back of a closet (and actually revealed that’s where it would end up!). It turns out after some recent home redecorating (which I wasn’t privy to beforehand), one of the two gifts no longer matched their decor.
This got me thinking about gifts and how we choose to give and receive them. Personalized gifts are always thoughtful but can sometimes prove to be a challenge. Once something is monogrammed or custom printed, it’s set in stone. As a gift giver, we must be certain it’s something that will be well received. Likewise, other well meaning gifts such as custom jewelry and handmade items, fit the same bill. For that reason, it’s often best to give a gift that is less personalized and specific (but not quite as generic as a gift card-unless it’s requested) and can be returned or exchanged if necessary. I felt torn between the practicality side and my emotions. In the end, I had to honor the gift recipients wishes and in our particular case we were actually able to return one of the items (the other was kept) and now I can provide something that will be better suited to them. It’s these types of sticky situations that I do my best to decode for you and give you pointers on for your own scenarios, however that certainly doesn’t mean I’m exempt from them as you can see! 😉
PERFECT GIFTS FOR WOMEN
I’d love to hear your stories….have you ever received a gift that you couldn’t possibly imagine why it was gifted to you? Have you also found yourself giving a gift that later you came to find out was not appreciated? How did you respond? I’d love to know in the comments below!
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