What presents did you receive this Christmas? Do you ever take any back to the shop? I would never dream of doing so.
I don’t remember ever being disappointed about a Christmas present I had received. Apart from once at the age of maybe 16 or 17 when I thought my boyfriend at the time had bought me something golden. However, it turned out that yes, he had but it wasn’t of the nice chinky, jeweled variety I’d been thinking of, it was a big golden handbag! I have no idea what happened to it but I’m happy to say that through various house moves, I seem to have it no more.
But definitely as a child, I never would have thought of giving anything back. Presents were always gratefully received. Mum and Dad worked hard when my sister and I were little to get what they could for us, especially at Christmas. The way Mum did things always reminds me of the loaves and fish parable because there was always enough even when, at times, there definitely wasn’t.
There seems to be a whole culture change nowadays but I just can’t pinpoint exactly when things changed. Maybe thirty or forty years ago, people did still take presents back to the shops and get refunds or exchanges for unwanted gifts but I certainly do not remember that happening. I can understand changing a Christmas jumper size when Nana thinks you’re a size 8 but you can barely get into a 14. However, asking for a gift receipt from someone who has taken the time to buy something thoughtful for you, even if it’s something that you would never have chosen for yourself, is just beyond belief.
My main worry is that we’ve grown into a ‘want it all’ society where we are constantly striving for bigger, better and more than before. It’s always nice to write letters to Father Christmas and then there’s always that hope that something you’ve asked for, might appear under the tree. But receiving the odd present from the list– one big present and a few littlies- seems to be a thing of the past.
I’ve always been happy with whatever presents I’ve received and it doesn’t matter one jot whether it’s something I wanted or not. Nothing is ever wasted; I always find a use for it. If for whatever reason you aren’t that happy with some gifts then it is politer to recycle, donate, upscale or sell them on rather than go back to the person that bought them for you and ask for a gift receipt so you can take it back. This is just downright rude.
Even this year when my sister gave me a gift receipt with my new purse, I would never take it back to the shop. Apart from the fact that it is fabulous so I wouldn’t want to return it anyway and also that she has far more taste than me so whatever she chooses, would always be hands down far better than I could find, I love the purse because she got it for me and took the time to do so.
At the end of the day, it is very much the thought that counts and so it should be at Christmas.