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Making the Most of a Bad Gift

by puffalump10


It has happened to the best of us. The excitement of Christmas day, surviving off three hours of sleep, and the beautifully wrapped presents waiting under the tree. You tear the wrapping paper off and get... Red Pirate Socks? It is a fate that many Neopians will have to deal with this festive season. Terrible gifts. There are some key ways to survive and overcome receiving strange or useless items.

The Reaction

This is important. You do not want to hurt the person’s feelings, unless it is someone you just don’t like. You also do not want to give it too much thrill; otherwise you may overdo the reaction. Too much fake smiles becomes very obvious. The giver will become terribly aware that you really hate their present. If they don't realize that much, they will simply give you a similar gift next year. Let’s look at the case study:

Sally opens her present, and receives Wartroot Jelly Beans. She looks up, beaming ear to ear, shouts excitedly, and chokes some down. Not good! For one thing, Sally has just ruined her appetite for the entire day. Christmas dinner will be tainted with the taste of lumpy custard. Her reaction was also overkill. The giver will now believe that jelly beans are Sally’s favourite treat, and she can count on getting them again next year. Either that or they will see right through it, and realize she hates Wartroot Jelly Beans. Instead Sally should smile, comment on what a unique gift it is, and set them out at the Christmas party. She has not given the desired reaction, and does not have to eat the jelly beans either. Next year she will hopefully get something a little tastier.

It is just as important not to act rudely or stomp off in a huff. It is Christmas day after all, and you must remember that it’s the thought that counts.

The Thank You

It is very polite and considerate to thank someone for their gift, even if it is something you are not keen about. A thank you note is personal, but you do not have to give a facial reaction. You can also have many attempts at writing a suitable thank you. Let’s see what Charlie came up with.

Charlie writes: Dear Grandma, thank you for the Mummified Vase, I don’t know where I’ll put it but thanks anyway. Oh dear! This shows that Charlie thinks it is useless, which it is, but he should not hurt his grandmother’s feelings. A better way to thank her would be to comment on how interesting and cultural the vase is, and that he will have to find the perfect spot for it. This does not say he absolutely adores the gift, nor does it give a specific location. If you simply choose a random spot, Grandma will expect to see it there the next time she visits.

Use neutral words and vague ideas while composing a thank you card. It will prevent any negativity, and keeps things polite. The giver may realize that you were not overly excited about it, and think of a new gift for next time.

The Aftermath

Once Christmas is over, you still have these terrible gifts to deal with. There are a few ways to discreetly break or discard an item. It is important to keep it subtle. You have the option to re-gift your present. Simply choose some lovely festive wrapping paper, rewrap the item, and give it to someone you do not share a close friendship with. You can also do some good in the world and donate it to the Money Tree. It will be snapped up in a jiffy. Doing all of this of course without the original giver’s knowledge. What they don’t know will not hurt them!

Another option is the accidental break. Take the Mummified Vase. Set it up on an unstable table, bump into it one day, and it’s all an unfortunate mishap. Trying to sell the item in your shop may not work too well, because the giver might see it there. That leads to some awkward conversations.

A third idea is to simply lose it. Take your Christmas vacation to the Lost Desert, bring along the present, and arrange for its misplacement in transit. Dropped in the ocean, stolen by rabid kadoaties; lots of events can occur during travel. It’s all quite tragic. You can brace your shoulders and bravely move on from the sad loss of your gift.

The Next Time

To try and prevent future terrors, there are some tips to dropping gift ideas. Go on a shopping spree with your friend at Unis Clothing, and fall in love with some new clothes that you just can’t bring yourself to buy. Leave flyers lying around the house that are conveniently open to the things you like. Introduce some of your dreams in conversation. If you even want to be more direct, make up a wish list. This is the most obvious you can get.

The other choice would be to request all gifts in neopoints. This way you get to buy all the lovely things you wanted, and can genuinely thank others for their present. Everyone winds up satisfied. When all the post-Christmas sales occur, you will be totally ready.

There will always be the questionable gifts in Neopia, some which seem to have no purpose whatsoever. Honestly, what is up with the Dark Heart Mug or Coconut Bank? They exist in order that they can continue to be re-gifted across the world. Last minute shoppers will often wind up at the Neopian Gift Shop, searching desperately for something thoughtful. So just remember to give the reaction, thank them politely, and get rid of it. Unless you are aiming for the Pack Rat Avatar, there is no need to let it collect dust in your Safety Deposit Box. If you get a bad gift this Christmas, rest assured that someone else out there will be able to find some sort of use for it.

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