December Modern Manners
It is gift giving and receiving time! And I have held a lifelong belief that there are only two words that should ever be spoken when receiving a gift, “Thank you!”
Sometimes people give us a gift we do not want to receive, and we do not know quite what to do. It is a first world problem, but it can bring up real feelings, nonetheless. If this person really knew me, why would they give me THAT gift? The performance of joy we are obligated to make when we get an unwanted gift can feel like a major chore.
Luckily, most unwanted gifts are not actually offensive, they are just annoying. Presents are not supposed to make you feel irritated; it is probably not how the gift is meant for you to feel. I believe most gift givers have good intentions. But it can make you feel unheard or unseen when you get a gift that is not right for you and those feelings are real.
If gift-giving is not your love language, the constant barrage of gifts can feel confusing, overwhelming, or mildly annoying. You can thank them for thinking of you, even if you don’t love what they give you. Then you can quietly regift or otherwise get an unwanted gift out of your house without bringing it to your gifter’s attention. You do not have to have a direct confrontation.
Have this conversation with your children: it is important information, especially for them, we do not want to hurt Grandma’s feelings. Just say “thank you” and save the processing for a more private time. It is good manners and it is gracious behavior.