What is the gift giving or return etiquette?

That is a common problem. After ripping open the wrapping paper and pulling out a three-size-over-sized sweater—something you know you’ll never wear—you’re suddenly faced with the awkwardness of accepting a gift you don’t want.

But what should you do?

Despite every grateful smile, it’s no secret that gift recipients don’t always intend to keep their holiday gifts.

However, when it comes to giving or giving back, there are some rituals to be careful about — especially if you want to avoid offending grandma.

An expert weighed in on the do’s and don’ts of wrapping or throwing away gifts this holiday season.

“Think about the situation, and think about the consequences [of re-gifting],” Julie Blais Comeau, etiquette director at, said in a phone interview with

“Who does it come from? Who will come find it? And when in doubt, don’t. Just keep the gift.”

Blais Comeau warns that if you suspect your mother-in-law is looking for the new bowl of food she gave you this past Christmas, “you’re better off keeping it, displaying it, or using it while she is. come in. “

Not surprisingly, this can avoid a possible dilemma.

“If someone is thinking about coming back, think about who it came from. What will be the consequences?” she speaks.

Blais Comeau advises that giving back gifts can be appropriate, especially when people are feeling “economic belts” or when the giver wants to be more eco-friendly instead of buying the product. new.

She added that it depends on visibility.

“You [should be] make sure other people won’t see it, somewhere else in another circle,” she said.

Honesty is often another element of proper gift-giving etiquette.

“If you get something and you want to give it to someone because you believe they will like it and they will like it, you can be pretty transparent and open about it,” she explains.

Blais Comeau also offers the following scenario as an example of how you might approach the conversation:

“I received this as a gift and although I’m trying to decorate it with my decor, I can’t — but I know it’s the perfect thing for you in my home. me.”

Blais Comeau also warns that, “if you receive an heirloom or something of a sentimental nature, (giving it back or giving it back) would be a no-brainer.”

“Someone has invested their money, they invested their time, they think about you. Receiving a gift graciously is the way to do it,” she explains.

“Please accept it kindly. A gift is a gift.

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