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Advice from Dear Webby
Receiving Poor Quality Gifts

Dear Webby,

I have a good friend with whom I exchange gifts for holidays and birthdays. The problem is that her gifts are frivolous and I can't use them. When I ask for a receipt so I can return them she acts hurt and sensitive. Am I supposed to keep them and act pleased and wind up throwing them out?

Signed: Practical Giver

Dear Practical,

The returning of gifts is always a problem. My theory is that if it is going to drastically hurt another's feelings don't do it. You will be no worse off then before you received the gift.

The feelings of a loved one are more important than the gift. Perhaps your friend feels the same way about your gifts but is too kind to mention it.

Sometimes a gift can be returned without the Giver knowing it. A wall hanging or elephant foot table may not be so easy. Many of us have a recycled gifts box that comes in handy when we need a gift for a white elephant exchange. Just remember who gave it to you originally so you don't end up giving it back to them a year later.

Webby has received several questions regarding gifts. Some complained about never receiving a thank you. Others resented being handed a list of items the recipient would accept.

Try to remember why you are giving a gift. A gift is a wonderful token of love, appreciation and caring.

Usually much thought is given, time is spent shopping, wrapping and delivering it. Notice I said usually. Granted, some are gifts given because we feel we must, some are purchased by relatives or secretaries. In general, Webby hopes that most are given with thoughtfulness and in the true spirit of the occasion.

Some people ask for a list of suggestions and sizes, and that is great for both the giver and receiver. However unsolicited lists of expensive items should immediately be tossed in the wastebasket.

Webby firmly believe no one is too young or too old to say thank you. If they continually forego a "thank you", you have three choices.

You can cross them off your gift list if it wouldn't cause relationship problems. You can bring up the gift at a later date ("Wasn't the color to die for?) and hope that your fishing expedition leads to an expression of gratitude.

Or you can reward the thankless person with an appropriate gift. Perhaps they would enjoy a Chia pet.

Happy Holidays,


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