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Do You Feel Guilty Returning Holiday Gifts?

Gift exchange
Joe Raedle, Getty Images

It happens every year, you get that one gift that while you appreciated the gesture, just doesn’t work for you for whatever reason. You can talk about something not fitting, being the wrong style, but the main reason it probably won’t work for you is because you just don’t like it. But what do you do with it? Sometimes the giver will actually give you the receipt, so you can return it if need be. That is really awkward when you open a gift and the giver immediately announces they have the receipt if you need to return it. What are supposed to do say: yeah, please give me the receipt because I plan to return it tomorrow?

I have received many gifts over the years that were wrong for me. In fact, they were just plain hideous, but I NEVER returned any of them. I am always afraid that the giver will somehow find out that I returned it and then ask me why. The return police are everywhere and they are watching you – just waiting to report back to the giver.

I feel guilty enough not liking the gift, even though I would never say so, but returning it is something I just can’t do. For the most part, the giver put some thought into it and really tried to get you something they thought you would like. The worst is when they ask you if have worn or used the gift yet and how you like it. I am a terrible liar, so when that happens, I am usually busted right there on the spot.

The folks at InStyle magazine recently revealed the results of a poll that said 51% of those surveyed felt guilty about returning gifts, while 49% said they had no guilt whatsoever. If you are not going to return it, you better use it or wear it at least once so that the giver can see it. Otherwise, just take it back and use the money for something useful, like taking the giver out for drinks and maybe dinner – on you of course.

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