Here’s How You Can Handle Unwanted Gifts With Grace and Gratitude When You’re So Not Into It

So you don't really like the gift you got, huh? Here's what to do.

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What to Do When You Don't Like The Gift

Hey there, gift-getting gurus! As your trusty gifting etiquette expert, I totally get it – sometimes you unwrap a present, and your face does a little “huh?” We’ve all been there, and guess what? It’s perfectly normal! But worry not, because I’ve got your back with some seriously awesome tips on how to handle those “not-quite-right” gifts like a pro!  And, don’t sweat it, because you don’t have to just be “stuck” with the unwanted gift in question.

So You Don't Like The Gift, Now What?

Stumped on what to do, what to say, how to react, or what you should actually do with the gift?  Here are some ideas on what you should do and keep in mind.

Smile and Say Thank You

The first rule of thumb is always to show appreciation for the thought and effort put into selecting the gift. A warm smile and a heartfelt “thank you” go a long way in conveying your gratitude, regardless of your feelings about the gift.

Focus on the Positives

Even if the gift isn’t your preferred choice, try to find positive aspects to acknowledge. Maybe the color is nice, or the gift was uniquely made. By highlighting the positives, you create a genuine connection with the gift-giver and show that you really appreciate what they did for you.

Keep an Open Mind

Sometimes, gifts grow on us with time. Give the gift a chance to win your heart, and you might find yourself appreciating its beauty or usefulness more than you initially thought.

Remember the Sentiment

Almost every gift comes with a sentiment attached, and that sentiment is what truly matters. Whether it’s a token of love, friendship, or appreciation, cherish the thoughtfulness behind the gift.

Re-Gifting: The Thoughtful Approach

If you genuinely don’t see yourself using the gift, consider re-gifting the present to someone who might love it. Just make sure that the gift is in good condition and suitable for the recipient. Avoid regifting within the same social circle to prevent awkward situations.  Oops!

Exchanging or Returning

Ok, so this is probably what you really came here to find out.  Is returning the gift or exchanging it really ok?  In some cases, if the gift is from a store with a return policy, you may consider exchanging it for something more to your liking. Just remember to handle the exchange discreetly, so the gift-giver isn’t aware, unless it was something like an incorrect size or the item was damaged. 

DIY Upcycling

This may be more of a stretch, but depending on the gift, upcycling can totally turn it into something you’ll actually want or us.  Get creative and transform the gift into something new and exciting. DIY projects can turn an unwanted item into a personalized treasure.

Share the Joy

Gifts are meant to be enjoyed, so consider hosting a fun gift swap party with friends or family. Everyone brings their unwanted gifts, and you can all exchange for something you’ll adore.  Just make sure that the person who gave you the gift isn’t there…or has a great sense of humor and is there to do the same exact thing!

Just Be Gracious, Always

No matter what you decide to do with the gift, always be gracious and thoughtful. Avoid negative remarks or discussions about the gift’s shortcomings, as it may hurt the feelings of the gift-giver.

Things You Can Say to Show Your Appreciation

  • “Wow, this is such a unique gift! Thank you for being so creative!”
  • “I appreciate the effort you put into finding this for me.”
  • “This is such a special gesture. Thank you for thinking of me.”
  • “You’ve truly surprised me with this gift! Thank you!”
  • “I love how thoughtful you always are with your gifts.”
  • “Thank you for giving me something I’ve never received before!”
  • “This gift is so generous. Thank you for your kindness.”
  • “You always know how to make me feel special. Thanks for the gift!”
  • “Thank you for brightening my day with your kindness and generosity.”
  • “I’m really touched by the effort you’ve put into making me smile.”
  • “This gift is so unique; it’s going to be a great conversation starter!”
  • “Your thoughtfulness means the world to me. Thank you for the lovely gift!”


Embracing the art of gracefully handling unwanted gifts is an essential part of being a gracious gift recipient. By focusing on the thought and sentiment behind each gift, we can show our gratitude and appreciation in the most delightful way. Remember, it’s not just about the gifts; it’s about the joy of giving and sharing in the spirit of love and connection. Happy gifting!