TODAY

TODAY   |  December 24, 2013

Awkward? Getting a gift you don’t want

Thomas Farley, etiquette columnist for the New York Post, provides some tips on what to do when you receive a gift you just don’t want.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> special series we're calling it the social. this morning, a look at holiday gift etiquette. a lot of presents are about to be exchanged. how do you respond to that not so great gift? when it comes to gift giving , we say it's the thought that counts.

>> these are for you.

>> wiper blades. i don't even have a car.

>> but when the gift is all wrong or disappointing.

>> what kind of gift is dental floss ?

>> well, it's waxed and mint flavored.

>> what's the best way to respond?

>> i called my sister after i got a gift of grapefruit and i said oh, thank you. you shouldn't have. no, really, you shouldn't have.

>> oh, wow. look at that. it's rudolph sweater with the nose flashing. that's -- wow.

>> when somebody gives me a gift i don't like, i usually repeat what the gift is. wow, a large night gown .

>> if the person doesn't know you and they give you a lame gift you should be gracious enough to say thank you and move on and then regift it to somebody else.

>> if a husband does not give a right gift.

>> right.

>> to a wife.

>> right.

>> he has an entire year to make up for it.

>> true where as the wife can make up for it that night, see. that's the difference.

>> never buy your wife --

>> an appliance. my father gave my mother a microwave oven for christmas and my mother went really, charles? and that taught me everything i needed to know.

>> i got a microwave from my husband once and i just said this is unacceptable.

>> yeah and never again did he make that mistake.

>> never again did he make that mistake.

>>> let's keep the conversation going. thomas farley is the etiquette columnist for the new york post.

>> good morning. good to see you both.

>> if you get a gift you don't like, shouldn't you ignore it and pretend you like it? i thought that was the universal rule .

>> you want to be gracious in the moment especially. but there's a few set of rules. we all strive to get the perfect gifts for everybody. when you're looking at the person in the moment and they can't tell, it's very heartbreaking. a few tips to help people make sure they're on their best behavior tomorrow.

>> what about the face you make? you open the box. it's not something you like. how can you fake it without letting people know you are faking it? or should you?

>> well, you want to make sure that face and words are in sync. you don't want to be saying one thing and showing something completely different with your face.

>> right.

>> we've all done that.

>> savannah.

>> i love it, like that? i love it, question mark .

>> perfect. example of whatnot to do.

>> okay.

>> you don't want to overcompensate. this is the best thing ever, thank you, you always wanted one. people are going to read through that right away. so definitely don't go in the other direction.

>> if you do want to return it and let's say you have a gift receipt or something, do you have to tell the person you returned it? what if they're wondering why you didn't wear that sweater or whatever it is?

>> if the person is thoughtful enough to give you the gift, you want that option. you can be gracious in the moment and it never has to come out. but if you haven't gotten the gift receipt that's when it gets tricky.

>> what do you do?

>> if it's something that your grandma knit for you and it took her nine months and she's 98 years old you're going to be nice and not complain but if it's something that somebody spent a lot of money on, you want to say something. but do it privately. you don't want to embarrass the person in the moment while everybody is looking around and seeing. later on you say, you know what, i think maybe this size is not appropriate for me or a different color would be better. i'd love to make an exchange.

>> to regift or not to regift? ten seconds.

>> regift but just do it wisely. don't do it as a way of getting rid of something you don't like.

>> don't give it back to the person that gave it to you.

>> exactly.

>> different friend circles. all right. thomas farley . thank you. nice to have you.

>> what should you give to get a great reaction? we