Christmas Gift Exchange: How to Handle Surprise Gifts from Associates and Strangers

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Christmas time is a special time of the year for many individuals the world round. For others maybe not so much. Many families gather from areas near and far to share the holiday together. Some can only smile fondly over yesteryear’s Christmases and hope for happy future holidays. Christmas gift exchanges are fun and exciting. Many individuals and families participate in such gift giving activities during the holidays.

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Since Christmas is such a popular holiday filled with open hearts, peacefulness and sharing, many want to share their holiday cheer. Gift giving and gift exchanges are some of the most popular means of spreading the spirit of joy, happiness and festivity. In fact, they are so popular that they extend into the office or work place. For some, this is wonderful fun. For others perhaps not so much according to their personal situations. Most often one is invited to join in and participate in a Christmas gift exchange, with the option to decline the invitation.

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However, sometimes you may get a real surprise Christmas gift from an associate or strangers that you never expected, much less had the chance to reciprocate or not. Sometimes knowing how to handle surprise gifts from associates and strangers can leave one at a loss. Nevertheless, what you need to keep in the forefront of your mind is that the gift giver is offering you something that they hope will not only improve your holiday spirit, but his or her sense of sharing holiday cheer.

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Therefore, the best way to handle such surprise gifts is to be thankful for the gift they give and then use the gift, if it is something that suits your particular personal preferences. If it is something that you may not be able to make use of, you can simply wait until next year and then re-gift the item to a different friend, preferably one that does not know the original gift giver in order to avoid any hurt feelings. Alternatively, you may consider donating the gift to charity regardless of the year or season. Most people are generally thrilled to receive a gift from someone whether they know them or not.

If it causes you to feel uncomfortable to receive an unexpected one sided Christmas exchange gift, you could go into some small spill about not expecting a gift and explaining you have nothing for them in return. However, more than likely the giver in an unexpected one sided Christmas gift exchange had no intention of receiving a gift in return. This means you are not on the hook as far as they are concerned or should not be, especially when the giver of the gift is a work associate or a stranger and not family or close friends. This is especially true when there have been no past planning for exchanging gifts.

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As you can see, there is no need to feel bad when you are the recipient of an unexpected one sided surprise Christmas gift exchange. Smile, say thank you and then make your choice of how you will use the gift. If on the other hand, you have strong objections to such an exchange, simply offer a short, sweet refusal and then go on about your business. However, do keep in mind that when people make such kind gestures regardless of the season, he or she may simply be indulging their sense of the spirit of joy, happiness and festivity during Christmastime. He or she may not be able to spend time around family and friends and feels a camaraderie with you. It is perfectly all right for them to give and you to receive whether you have anything for them in return.

 

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Christmas Gift Exchange: How to Handle Surprise Gifts from Associates and Strangers, Seekyt
General Contributor
Janice is a writer from Chicago, IL. She created the "simple living as told by me" newsletter with more than 12,000 subscribers about Living Better and is a founder of Seekyt.