It is the thought that counts, or is it really? Christmas is the time of giving. Many expect to receive and to give gifts. Unfortunately, the gift you give or receive may not elicit the desired response. Is it ok not to like your gift or should you be grateful that someone made the sacrifice or effort to get you a gift? We can be sentimental or practical about — for the sake of giving; give to bring true happiness or not give at all.
Most people put a lot of thought into buying or making gifts, even the choice of wrapping paper is a difficult decision. However, despite the thoughtfulness, the gift may just not be well received. You may have purchased the gift based on your likes, what you think the person needs or likes, what you think were hints, or your budget. Unless you are absolutely sure that you bought or made just what the person wanted, do not ask that the gift be opened in your presence; save yourself the pain of not getting the desired response and the receiver the pain of having to feign excitement. It is unclear which is worst, the fake excitement or the unmasked show of disappointment. In either case, it is bad for both giver and receiver.
Perhaps we should learn from children, they tell you exactly what they want and will not be afraid to show you their level of appreciation. The secret santa practices in offices were disastrous until some brave person decided to not only say the minimum cost of gifts and initiate the habit of finding out what persons wanted. Many can relate to the extreme even heartbreaking disappointment of receiving gifts that were such a far cry from being even remotely acceptable and it was not because they had unreasonable expectations. No, it’s not just the thought that counts.
While admittedly some people expect a bit much (and yes that is arguable according to circumstances) and some may caution against expectations to minimize the likelihood of disappointment; gifting is serious business. Since we do not yet have Christmas registries, some persons have resorted to giving gift cards, providing return or exchange options to the site of purchase, asking or stating exactly what is required or giving cash. Some may argue that these options ruin the surprise. Therefore, the toss up is between a feigned surprise or a feigned appreciation. Which do you prefer? How many of your gifts will join those at the back of the closet or the regifting pile?