Monday, January 18, 2010

To exchange or not to exchange a gift

Please do not judge me too harshly, dear reader, but I am beginning to see the benefit of exchanging gifts for store credit.

Why is this occurring to me just now? Well, I am faced with a mass of gifts for the upcoming arrival of my baby and I'm starting to see a large amount of overlap on things I won't need as much of and a lot less of what I really need.

There are a few reasons why exchanging gifts for credit appeals to me:
1. People have different tastes - there are some things people have given me that I just plain don't like or don't want, even though I deeply appreciate the thought.
2. I have limited space - people have given me bulk amounts of certain items and I just don't have the room to store them.
3. Some people have not given me gift receipts or have given me second-hand items, which means that I have large numbers of items I can't return, making items I did receive receipts for something I can turn into things I can use.
4. There are some very large, expensive items I will need that I can use that store credit towards. As Rachel says in Friends, "Wouldn't you want me to exchange your gift for something I really want and can get a lot of use out of?" i.e. Credit!

This obsession with keeping our house clean and clutter to a minimum is shaping every aspect of my life, to the point where I'm now considering exchanging some Christmas gifts I received. I won't use the item much, most likely, but we're trying to keep baby costs low, and I could use the credit towards that or other items I need more (or might prefer over the gift).

As a gift-giver, I would much rather see my friends and family exchange a gift for something they would like or need than hate the gift or give it away.

I don't know if you think the same. Do you think it's offensive when someone returns an item you purchased for them?


Anonymous 12:29 PM  

Yikes! Don't tell me you want to take back what I got you???!! The decision is yours, but do it quietly. Remember that some have put a lot of thought, time and consideration into choosing something special. You may have given them the impression of really liking it when you opened it or may even have asked for it. Yes, some may be hurt or frustrated, wondering if it's worth making the effort in the future, so shhhhh!

Amy V. 9:32 AM  

I agree with Anonymous, you have to do it quietly. That said, return away. When I give someone something new I always, always, always give a gift receipt (so they don't have to ask and wound my ego) so they can do what they want; because really, I give a gift so they know I care -- and because I care what I *really* want is for them to be happy. That's what gift giving is supposed to be about, right?

Maryam Garba 11:47 AM  

I totally think its ok to take back to a store what people got for you. Particularly because your little baby is going to grow so quickly so you may find that you don't have all the time to maximize the stuff people got for her. I say.. get your exchanging on gurrrl!