Sometimes you get a gift you do not want. Not just that you do not want, but a gift that makes your heart sink on first sight. You open the box and wonder, “Geez, what am I supposed to do with this awful thing?” Maybe it is not your style, a hideous color, does not fit, or is offensive to you for any one of a hundred reasons. Maybe you got something less expensive than you thought befitting the occasion like the huge basket of edible goodies one couple recently sent another as a wedding gift. How on earth do you handle this?
How in the world do you write a thank you note for something you simply detest or that you could interpret as an insult? What do you say when your only plan for this gift is garage sale bin? You have to find something good to say if you want the friendship to last.
Recently there appeared an article, or rather a horrific dialogue, about just such a wedding gift. Someone, in an attempt to be original and memorable, with great thought and effort put together a lidded wicker basket of presumed edible delights as a wedding gift. The reaction was horrific filled with anger and lack of appreciation for what seemed to be a desire to send a wedding gift both playful and unique. It does seem that a large helping of greed and callousness went into the reaction here and instead of a thank you note, a declaration of war was issued. And, accepted. Blink twice and we have an ugly, name-calling cockfight. This dialogue, aside from being a gripping drama in itself with some definite comedy value is worth reading as a lesson in what not to do in a thank you note if you want to retain any speck of a friendship.
So, how can you turn a thank you note for a gift you cannot stand? Easy enough. Ignore the fact that you cannot eat any of the contents because you are gluten intolerant or diabetic or have committed yourself to losing weight. Ignore the fact that the cost of the contents does not add up to the bundle you hoped someone would spend on you (those baskets are not free, you know). You might say how much you appreciate the effort your friends put into designing something totally unique. You might mention that the wicker container is a fabulous picnic basket and that you will use it often for just that. And, if you want to stay close to the truth so you don’t feel like a total fraud, nothing wrong with saying you could not possibly eat all that candy so will be sharing the treats with people who love those items.
It is so easy to find the positive even with a gift you would rather not have gotten. If you are looking for an exercise in being gracious and kind, here it is. For the same cost of a stamp you can save a relationship instead of demolishing it.
From me to you with love in the air,
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