Um, Thank You?

I have a confession: a boyfriend (now an ex-boyfriend) once gave me cash for Christmas. Really? Cash? I wish I was kidding, but it's true. I was livid, of course. He justified that he didn't know what else to get me. If it hadn't been for the cash, he might've turned up with something absolutely useless. News flash, men, never give a woman cash - unless you're her uncle or grandfather. Here's how to deal with bad gifts from the BF.

Bad Christmas Gift

As furious as I was then, I can't help but look back and wonder if I should have handled the situation differently. I was a little short on cash at the time. And I could have ended up with a really bad gift — something I'd return or throw in the trash. What's a girl to do?

I turned to my wise girlfriends for their advice about how to deal with bad gifts from boyfriends. In case your beau gives you something less than desirable, you'll be armed with this advice!

Just Wear It Anyway

'I never really received a bad gift per se,' says Elizabeth Caputo. 'I've received jewelry than I'm not 100 percent crazy about but wore anyway because I didn't want the guy who gave it to me to feel bad.' We agree with Elizabeth. It's the thought that counts, right? Men aren't so style savvy. They can't help but get something that's not your taste. They don't know any better.

Set Aside Your Expectations

'One time a boyfriend told me a month prior that he was planning a surprise for me for my birthday,' recalls Elizabeth. 'It was my birthday and the 'surprise' was a night out in Manhattan and tickets to a play.' As it turns out, that was Elizabeth's birthday gift. Sounds like a great gift, sure, but for Elizabeth, disappointment overcame her. 'I reacted weird — not on purpose — because I thought that 'surprise' was in addition to a birthday gift,' she explains. So when she didn't get a gift on top of the experience, a huge fight erupted. Ladies, avoid a fight like this during this time of year by setting aside your expectations. Isolate yourself from your expectations and assess the gift for what it is. Odds are, you'll be happy — unless the gift is really terrible, that is.

Say No Way to Tacky Gifts

Annie Lam once got copied CDs from a boy. Although the homemade 'mixed-tape' aspect of this gift sounds very desirable to a sentimental girl, for Annie it wasn't. 'The CDs weren't wrapped — they were packed in a FedEx packing envelope sealed with black masking tape,' Annie explains. 'It just looked cheap and tacky.' When we asked Annie how she reacted to the super-random present and wrapping, she responded, 'Ummm, gee... Thanks?' Her facial expression told it all. 'I can't hide my feelings with him,' she adds. If you encounter such a situation, Annie advises that you should be honest. 'If you really like the guy and you know his intentions behind the gift, be polite,' she suggests. 'The gift is about the thought, not the value of things. But an obviously bad gift that's ripped off from the Internet and wrapped in a packing slip — no.'

Awww, Thanks

I asked one of my guy friends how he thinks a girlfriend should react if she gets a bad gift from him. After all, it's only fair. 'It's tough, but I think it's one of those balancing acts that are rarely executed well,' says Eugene Oh. 'You want to be appreciative, but give him your honest opinion.' Eugene thinks there's nothing worse than a girl who's being honest but doesn't show any gratefulness. He suggests you say something like, 'Honey, this is so sweet of you, but I already have one of these,' or 'Thanks so much, but this really isn't my style.'


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Comments on "How to deal with bad gifts from boyfriends"

Jessica February 14, 2014 | 5:38 PM

So...not to sound rude or snobby, but my boyfriend knows I'm not a sports fanatic and today he told me he went valentines shopping for me....on valentines day. I already knew it was last minute planning but I went along with it. I was hoping for this tripod for my digital camera since I have been hinting...if nothing else then a bouquet of white roses. I love white roses and maybe chocolate covered strawberries. I come into our bedroom...he follows me with this big smile on his face. My gift lies under a few blankets on the bed. The bouquet ideas done for...I life the blanket and there lies a Seahawks sweater. Ugh! Seriously!?! I know I sound terrible since those things are probably expensive being they are sports wear...but oh god. Next to the Seahawks sweater was a two dollar box of chocolates. When you know your other half hates sports then why on gods green earth are you going to buy something sports related? It upsets me because it shows he doesn't listen. Or maybe he does but he hopes to change my mind on the idea. Idk. Maybe next year?

Marissa January 04, 2014 | 9:30 AM

So, I just opened a christmas gift from my boyfriend...e hyped it up for so long and I was planning on recording me opening it (LDR) but thank god I didn't! I got socks, 4 tubes of GLITTERY lip gloss (he knows I don't wear/like lipgloss.) a tacky plastic marilyn monroe wallet, and a necklace that he claimed was super expensive (literally dollar store quality-and I HATE necklaces) I was hoping that because it was our year anniversary and our first christmas together he would give me something super personal and heartfelt. I hate sounding selfish because that's how I feel, but if he wasn't going to spend a lot of money I'd rather he get me something home made and from the heart rather then cheap impersonal things my grandma could have got me. I'm jsut so upset because I put so much effort into his gift. Now I don't even want to bother with it. I think as girls it hurts so much because it makes us feel like they don't know us like we tohught they did. I am not looking forward at all to have to fake being happy with it. uuugh.

Nini January 03, 2014 | 7:02 PM

I'm so glad I'm not alone! My boyfriend and I were friends for about four years before we started dating a year ago. I was excited to share our first Christmas as an official couple. I wasn't expecting anything grand, but at least something heart felt. He told me he didn't want anything, but I decided to take him out to dinner to a Brazilian steakhouse since he's mentioned several times that he'd like to go to one. What did I get? A sleep shirt from my alma mater. Ok he knows I love my school and their football team, but really? Especially since he knows what I like to sleep in and THAT AIN'T IT! LOL. I faked enthusiasm, but I was disappointed. Oh and the Christmas card attached to the gift had zero emotion. I was like damn, if you can't say the words at least get a card that can say the words for you. I wrote a little something in mine that expressed my feelings. I always do things like that, I'm not doing it anymore because it feels one-sided.

Maltyse December 25, 2013 | 8:17 PM

So my boyfriend and I have been together for almost a year technically, but it's been a couple years and I made him a heart felt scrap book that took me $100 and a week to make. So it's Christmas Eve and we're together and I'm so excited for my gift. I really wasn't looking forward to gifts that much but his I was excited for. He handed me the gift bag, and in it are fuzzy socks (okay, I guess) and a little jewelry box. Of course I'm thinking "Yes!!!" I knew it was a ring. I open in and the price tag is right on top, $20... the ring isn't even pretty, its a silver-looking band with cheap looking rhinestones thrown everywhere. He informed me he went shopping for like 10 minutes the night before to get something. I had to smile and act like I liked it... SO MAD!!!!

kelli December 10, 2013 | 7:34 PM

i'd be gracious and say thanks but NEVER wear it or use it. if you do, it shows you're ok with the item and (gulp!) you might get more of the same. I flat out say to a guy that I'm not happy. i appreciate the thought, but nothing wrong with saying it isn't your style/interest. why pretend?

jaide December 10, 2013 | 2:59 PM

My boyfriend, for our first valentines day, got me a frying pan...I dont cook...he says he bought it because he wrecked my other frying pan. lol gift and damage replacement in one? pretty untouching gift thats for sure lol

Sameboat December 26, 2011 | 9:20 PM

My live in boyfriend for the last five months seriously got me four t-shirts for Christmas. Two were of a baseball team I hate but he LOVES- one was from my favorite hockey team but so big and obviously the sale item and one of a shirt he asked for! WTF is he clueless or just insensitive?

REnee December 27, 2009 | 8:21 PM

I got a horrible gift this year from my guy- I am a college student I read and study the majority of the year for class. I have been with this person for over 16 years and you know that song! "if you don't know me by now, you may never ever really know me" Well this guy does not know about me, he got me a book for Christmas. This is the second time he has given me a book as a Christmas gift. It is not a book that I would of ever purchased for myself nor did I want to read. But he bought it anyway. After 16 years I would wonder what was he thinking when he went out looking for a gift for me? What? He asked me what I wanted and I told him as plain as day, so how does a computer bag translate into a book? Anybody? I am sounding ungreatful and I feel betrayed by the fact that he did not bother to make an effort for the second time. What is even worst he purchased a very expensive gift for a woman he claims is just his frined, what does that make me after 16 years??? Chop liver?

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