Have you behaved badly in public this year?
Hoping it’s been so long that everyone’s forgotten so you can stop waiting for the other shoe to drop?
Or could it be that your awkward gift moments this holiday season glide in on the wings of taste?
Yours, GJE’s and everybody else’s – it’s all subjective.
Who’s to say that your brand-new ugly green holiday novelty sweater isn’t absolutely perfect for you?
Gifts you hate, friends & relatives you don’t
No, we’re not talking joke gifts here.
In these tough economic times, it’s really hard to answer a certain kind of question honestly, especially if you’ve opened a not-so-hot gift in front of the giver or other people who will tell everyone who knows you what you really said.
First, someone in your family thought enough of you to buy you something.
Second, money’s tight for everybody.
But Jesus, the sweater (or fill in your own blank) really sucks.
Do these things:
- Smile until your face hurts and say thank you.
- Accept a receipt if it’s offered. Someone people put the receipt inside the package as a matter of routine.
- Return the ugly sweater and use the money to buy yourself something you need and will use and like.
- Write a thank-you note explaining that you’ve returned gift and tell what you bought, put a stamp on it and mail it.
- If there’s no receipt, donate the gift to charity and write a thank-you telling that you couldn’t use the gift but that you’ve made sure it won’t go to waste by donating it. Maybe even in the name of the person who gave it to you.
- Never hurt a child’s feelings. When the little ones give you things, they’re the best presents you’ve ever gotten. Period.
Gifts you hate, friends who are owed
And – wouldn’t you know it – there are people who wait until the holidays to cash in their chits on the party fouls you’ve racked up.
If you’ve shown your ass in public this year – even if it was really early in the year – you may have to eat humble pie in public while you make a very, very big deal out of a gift that absolutely horrifies you.
Smile, take your lumps and be a good sport.
Then if your friends take a vote and decide that you’ve been over penalized, they can opt to let you return the favor so that you and the gifter are square.
Gift giving of this kind is a normative force in our society.
Use your power wisely to act for the greater good and help keep the peace.
Oh and … uh … never let yourself get too old to believe in Santa Claus.
Your Christmas Angel,
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OFFICIAL BIO: K Truitt is a second-generation, native Floridian born in Jacksonville. Truitt worked in public higher education for 25 years and knows newspaper publishing, printing and graphic design. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org