50 thoughts on “December 9, 2016

  1. I kinda went the same route this year with my Christmas shopping after having all my gifts returned last year because they didn’t want them. I only got food for the people on my list and no gift receipts since it can’t be returned anyways due to laws on food where I live. If they don’t like it they can either donate it to charity where someone will be grateful, or give it back to me and I will eat it because it is stuff that I know I would eat. (Summer sausages aren’t cheap and I’ll be damned before I let those go to waste) The only person not getting an edible gift is getting a statue from a video game they like and if they don’t like then I will keep it because it was super expensive to import and I also like the character.

  2. This whole idea of gift returning is something completely alien to me. You don’t like what you got? Well, tough luck. Or you may speak with the person who gave you this unwanted gift and maybe next year you’d get something you wanted.

    • Indeed, it is a gift so be grateful. The only cases where exchanging it would be cool with me is if it was clothing that needs a different size or you got a duplicate of a movie that year, and in both of those cases only exchanges are right to do.

    • Damn straight. My brother and sister-in-law have given me some shockers through the years, mostly due to my personality and likes being fundamentally alien to them. But I still accepted them in the spirit they were given, smiled and said thank you like I meant it.

    • I don’t understand this. How does it make any sense to accept a gift you don’t like to just have it sit in a closet taking up space and never being used/worn? I personally would like money I spent to go towards something the person will enjoy, not just be stuffed in a box because they were too “polite” to say they didn’t like it. THAT is wasteful.

      Also, how will I learn what their tastes are if I think they like something they don’t?

      The only person I don’t say anything to is my FIL. He always buys us novelty Christmas candy and stuffed toys from the dollar store which no one would ever eat. Those get donated immediately. I can’t tell him because he doesn’t understand the unfairness of him asking for an expensive electronic item (which he received) but then only giving crap from the dollar store in return. I know it’s not about how much you spend, but in this case, it’s quite unfair, especially since he makes a lot more money than us.

      • Yeah, where I live we always put gift receipts on gift. It’s just considered good manners and also… sometimes.

        Like, last year I wished for a new frying pan. And for some reason my granma thought it would be a BRILLIANT idea to buy my this absolute crap frying pan from a local supermarked.
        Thankfully, it had a gift reciept on it so I could exchange it for something usefull… Which just happened to be food.
        Because god dammit I am a student and if there’s something I actually need it’s food!

      • ” How does it make any sense to accept a gift you don’t like to just have it sit in a closet taking up space and never being used/worn?”
        Whoa there, I didn’t write anything like that. You may find some use for it, you may give it away, you may throw it away (I did that with some books my wacko “conspiracy-aliens-antivaccine” uncle gave me).

        “I personally would like money I spent to go towards something the person will enjoy”
        What stops you? I don’t 🙂

        “not just be stuffed in a box because they were too “polite” to say they didn’t like it. THAT is wasteful”
        Whoa there, again. What I wrote was “you may speak with the person who gave you this unwanted gift and maybe next year you’d get something you wanted”, right?

      • Well, I think corporate America came up with this idea of gift returning. This way you spend a lot of money without thinking more than “if they don’t like it, they can return it, LET’S BUY A LOT OF SHIT!”.

    • Yeah, I cant fathom being so rude as to exchange or return something just because it’s not something you wanted. Be grateful, you know? The only gifts I’ve returned/exchanged are if I already have them for some reason.

  3. I never give gift receipts and if I can’t take off the price tag, I mark it up so that it can’t be returned. If someone is buying you a gift from the heart, or if the gift is all they can afford, why be an ungrateful person by returning it? I’m sure they would have rather kept that money and used it on themselves or someone who would have been appreciative.

    • It is only ungrateful if you say something to them. I learned you say thank you, send a thank you note and than do with the gift as you will.

      • This. Keep it and let it gather dust if you prefer, or go ahead and return/exchange it for something else you would rather have. It’s your gift to do with as you please. Just DON’T say anything to the gift giver except for a sincere “Thank you.” That’s what etiquette demands.

        Me? I keep an ongoing wishlist and friends and family ask for it for reference if nothing else, so I don’t often receive something I’m less-than-happy with. On the very rare occasion that I do, I thank the gift giver sincerely, then quietly return or exchange the item or, if unable to do so, add it to our yard sale/thrift store donation box.

      • Retrning/exchanging gifts makes me feel squicky, but even if I were to do so, I agree you don’t gotta be so blunt about it as to tell them you don’t want the item.

    • This is the sort of logic that leads people to hang onto sweaters that don’t fit and artwork that doesn’t suit their taste “because it was a gift”. I’m giving a gift, not an obligation.

  4. I do get gift receipts in case of wrong size or damaged or defective. I don’t return gifts unless it’s one of those situations.

  5. I think this is one reason why so many people just use gift cards. That way the person doesn’t have to stand in line to return something they don’t like or was the wrong size or whatever. They can buy their own. You showed thoughtfulness in selecting a store you knew they shopped at. The rest is up to them.

    • I agree … I get my wife gift certificates a lot of the time because I know what her hobbies are, but her needs for those are changing constantly.

      I’ve been told that it’s disrespectful (!), but I’m supporting her hobbies, so I don’t see the problem.

      • There is no problem. My husband knows I like yarn since I crochet but he’d have no idea what kind to buy, what colour etc. If he gave me money or a gift card or certificate for a yarn store I’d be delighted, I know what I want and I don’t want him to guess at it.

  6. The adage that it’s the thought that counts has been abused by some people these days. A gift should be reflective of how well you know a person, their likes and dislikes, so when it seems like you just went into a Walmart or, worse, a Dollar General with a blindfold on and trusted your luck…

  7. That’s not the point of gift receipts. The point of the gift receipt is to get the dollar amount of the item at the time of purchase because of sales and store policy to do the absolute lowest price (sometimes ever) of the item so someone can exchange it out.

    A gift receipt doesn’t have the dollar amount on it, the item simply ensures it can be exchanged at the correct amount.

  8. It’s the thought that counts, but the giver can’t always get it quite right. Maybe it’s the wrong size, or you thought I liked red when I prefer blue, or I already have three of them and need something else. We try to get you something you like, but would rather you return it for something you want rather than it sit unused until you throw it away or donate it.

    We don’t see a point in keeping secret how much you spent, either, so we just give the real receipt. If I return a $12 item with a gift receipt and try to buy a $15 item, the clerk will tell me I owe $3 and I will know how much you spent.

    When you give a gift, it should be about them and showing that you love them. If you make it so I can’t return or exchange the gift, I feel like you’re making the giving all about you.

  9. I give all my friends and family money for Christmas because I want them to have a gift they’ll enjoy, and only they know what’ll really make them happy.

    But the idea of a gift receipt has always struck me as facilitating ingratitude.

    If someone gives me a gift I don’t like – and it’s happened many times – I just accept it in the spirit that it’s given.

    After all, they didn’t have to get me anything at all.

  10. Had a cashier warn me, years ago, if someone wanted to return it, they wouldn’t be able to without the receipt, so was I sure I didn’t want it. She didn’t sound rude, just like she’d had to warn a lot of idiots before me.

    I told her ‘If they don’t like their gifts, that sounds like it isn’t exactly my problem.’

    • So what you’re saying is that you don’t care if they LIKE what you got them, so long as they see you spent money that’s all that matters?

  11. I like the way our family works, we meet for Thanksgiving instead of Christmas and only exchange small gifts (typically food or $10 gift cards) with each other (as well as enjoy a huge meal, we love to eat) as we all have our own lives and can frankly buy whatever we want on our own, except for the kids as they love opening presents, everyone gives them presents. This also allows everyone to be free with other families on Christmas and not be as stressed out by it.

  12. Ok, warning here: this may destroy faith in humanity.

    I had a woman return a baking dish with a warning cozy. We didn’t sell warning copies. She said, “well, it was on the wedding registry.” Sure enough, the pan was, but the cozy was a homemade gift. She didn’t want either one. So her guest went to the trouble to shop off a registry AND personalize it in a useful way, and she returned it and threw out the hand made cozy.

    I’m depressed just thinking about it.

    • I’ve heard of the “return stuff off the registry” thing before. It works like this: they return the items off the registry for the money and the item goes back on the registry as “unpurchased/available” so other people looking at the registry think they haven’t gotten one yet. They buy the item, it gets returned again, rinse and repeat.

      Basically, they’re getting people to gift them money without actually asking them for cash.

  13. I have no problem with people returning things I buy for them. The gift is for them, not me, and if I got it wrong in any way I would like them to be happy. My family makes pretty good use of wish lists, so there’s always an idea of what they’d like, but the general agreement is that they’re a suggestion, not a demand. Most of us go off list regularly.

    There have been polite requests for receipts when gifts don’t work out, no one seems to mind.

  14. I’m baffled by the amount of people that seem to not conider the recipient. If I buy a gift and get it wrong, I don’t want my gift to turn into some expensive paperweight or closet stuffing because they can’t use it, can’t return it for something they can use, or won’t throw it away just because it was a gift. That’s not very nice thing to give someone.

  15. Years ago I used to threaten to give everybody a bag of noodles for Christmas. It was a joke, but really food items are the best because you can use it up, it doesn’t sit around for years collecting dust, and you think of the giver every time you eat it. You just have to be certain that you’re giving something they actually will eat. Failing that, gift cards to their favorite restaurant are always appreciated.

    For myself, if someone went to the trouble of picking out a gift, I accept it with a smile and gratitude. So many people in the world get nothing for Christmas and are in need all year. If I get something I don’t need or don’t like, I can always donate it to the thrift store. There’s way too much emphasis on gimme-gimme-gimme this time of year. I like the idea of giving just a small gift, giving an “experience” instead (concert/game/play or movie tickets, a day trip somewhere, etc.) or taking the person shopping at their favorite store and letting them pick something out. That’s a little more personal than a gift card, if you can manage it. If not, I see nothing wrong with gift cards.

  16. Personally I actually have relatives I’d just rather not receive gifts from period. They don’t know my tastes and I don’t like being around them and I REALLY don’t want them to think I should be indebted to them because they got me something (this has happened in my family before).

  17. I give a gift receipt only under the following circumstances:
    1) It’s a clothing item and I might’ve gotten the wrong size
    2) It’s something more likely to be defective or broken, so they can exchange it

    I never buy clothes for gifts so #1 never applies. I only apply #2 when it’s something electronic prone to defects that might not be covered by a manufacturer’s warranty. So it’s pretty rare that I get a gift receipt!

  18. Huh. Was I the only one who was taught that if you don’t know a person’s likes and dislikes, that you should go with something basic that can be appreciated by most everyone? And that consumables made a great gift, in most cases? It means you have to know if the person has any dietary restrictions if you’re doing food, but you usually know at least that much.

  19. Um, guy, gals – Gift Receipts don’t have dollar amounts on them.

    The only way today’s strip makes sense is if the customer is planning on giving the recipient a regular store receipt.

    • Yeah, I’m not sure why this turned into a debate over whether you should include a receipt with the gift at all when the customer is clearly going to do so.

      I guess whether to use a gift receipt or regular receipt was a less interesting fight.

      Though I honestly thought gift receipts were more about the gift giver not wanting people to know how much was spent, not about sparing the recipient’s feelings. Also, getting receipts for separate items.

  20. The attitude I see from a lot of people here is that giving the gift is about the giver not the person giving it, and that frankly depresses me. The whole idea is to give a person something they enjoy, if they don’t like it, well guess what they should be able to return it. This would be like someone gettign their spouse some awful thing for an anniversary and getting indignant at their spouse for being unhappy, calling them ungrateful, etc. I enjoy giving gifts and a part of that is that the person getting it should be able to enjoy it. If they can’t, that was MY fault not theirs and they shouldn’t be burdened by my failures.

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