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Receiving Gifts

This time of year there can be a multitude of gifts that are given and received. Sometimes receiving gifts can be overwhelming due to the shear quantity, the level of expense, or the gift could feel inappropriate. Jon Spayde in his article titled, "The Endless Gift Machine" discusses how to respond appropriately while giving limits to receiving gifts. There are a few challenges to overcome when receiving gifts. It can be easy to feel like you have to be tactful when receiving a gift that you don't want or need, but stress can be caused when receiving this gift and suppressing negative emotions. There can be a sense of guilt experienced if you receive a gift that is bigger or more expensive than the one you gave to the giver, and there could even be strings-attached when the giver expects recognition and thanks for the gift they gave. This could cause a rift in the relationship if the giver becomes offended. Another common issue with receiving gifts is the amount of clutter they can create in a home. Gifts can be a source of stress, guilt, and even anger so although asking specifically for what you want can feel awkward, our loved ones may never know what we actually want if we do not tell them. 

Here are some tips for receiving gifts with gratitude and even how to potentially avoid receiving gifts you will not utilize. Explain to the giver that your focus is on your relationship and not gifts. You could suggest the gift of time like going for a walk, a conversation, or an activity you can do together. Another suggestion is having a nonmaterial gift that you can enjoy together such as a cooking class, yoga, or even organizing your house. If there is a gift you receive that feels like a burden or won’t be used, it may be best to donate it or give it to someone who may need it. If the giver happens to notice you don’t have the gift anymore, you can explain that you appreciate the generosity but you ended up giving it to someone who needs it more.


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