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Christmas Etiquette: 7 Tips On Gracious Gift Acceptance

December 25, 2009

You may think “yuck” about the gift or present you got , but don’t say it.

It’s Christmas Day and if you have presents you will open them.

I won’t get too chatty here.  You may be reading this on the way out of the door to head to a family or friends house where you will be opening gifts, keep these important etiquette tips in mind.

Gift Vs. Present: Yes, for those of you that didn’t know there was an actual…actual…actual difference, now you know.  So, what’s the difference between a gift and present?  Another blogger  wrote about this subject as well and I liked what they had to say…

It’s a subtle difference, but we give someone a present because we think they’ll benefit from it, whereas a gift is something they have expressed interest in or would like to buy on their own.

It’s not the “gift” you want, so appreciate and accept the “present”!: Does anyone really receive what they want for Christmas, unless you put your order in early with Santa?  I don’t get what I want sometimes, but I love what I get.  The handmade items, the homemade treats…whatever the gift may be.  I LOVE THEM ALL!  Be appreciative for what you have.  It’s all about your perspective.  Selfish and bratty, are you?  Drop the whine.  If you even got one gift, somebody loves you.  Thank goodness.

BTW, I have no intentions of regifting this year, but like I said before, it’s not a crime…read about that here.

Say “Thank You”: This goes without saying, even though I just said it.  Have some sincerity about it when you say it, as well.  I know a hollow, fake and forced “Thank you” when I hear one.  You do, too.

Appreciation Hug: Hugs are free and a wonderful extension of the appreciation you have for what you have received.  This only works if you are near the person and have a report with them.   I feel a hug is a show of  physical appreciation that backs up the verbal “Thank You”.

What are you going to do with it: If you have someone who was really excited about the gift or present they gave to you, then you may want share with them your intentions of using the gift.  Some people are self conscious and if you know this about them, it may ease their mind to know that the time they spent preparing your gift for you wasn’t a waste or if you received a gift card, share with them what you intend to do with the card.  Again, it may not have been something you wanted, but you can show appreciation for what you’ve received and more than likely, you can find a use for it.

“Aunt Emma, I am going to use the blanket you knitted as a new throw for my favorite reading chair.”

“Cynthia, I am going to buy a new vegan cookbook with the gift card you gave me.  Thank you.”

Thank you card, handwritten: As you know, I am a firm believer in sending actual, handwritten cards and this occasion is no exception.  Send out a “Thank You” card as a show of appreciation of the gifts and presents you received. This should be done for everyone who gave a gift/present to you.

  • Here’s a way to make it cheap: Send a postcard as a casual “Thank You” card.  The stamps are .28 cents (I believe) and it gets the job done beautifully.

Next time, go 1UP…?: Next time is right.  If you received something unique that you actually like and will keep and put to good use, try to “1 Up” them next time.  It’s not a competition, but you may feel compelled to give an awsomer (if that is a real word)  gift/present than you received from them.  You don’t have to wait until Christmas, but reference the gift/present they gave you when you give yours.

Merry Christmas,


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