What If You Don't Have A Gift For Someone Who Gives You One?

One of the most uncomfortable situations during the Christmas gift-giving time is when you don't have a gift prepared for someone who gives you one. It's always awkward when it happens, so we want to know: what do you do when someone hands you a gift and you don't have one for them?

This situation might come up in a wide variety of situations. In some cases, it's probably not a big deal, say, if a boss or parent gives you a gift. Other times, you might be expected to give something in return. Do you come up with an excuse for not getting a gift? Or do you fess up that you didn't buy anything? Let's hear it.

Picture: David Orban/Flickr


    I keep a stash of boxed chocolates for occasions like that.
    Although if you really don't like Christmas or people in general and wanted to be a scrooge, you could keep a stash of instant scratchies instead. It's like saying "You're worth exactly $2 to me, and I'm giving it to NOT YOU"

    I say "I ordered you something online, but it hasn't arrived yet"

    Boot to the head

    I've received gifts from bosses, but I can't imagine a situation when i'd be caught short without a present when there's mutual exchange expected. If there's ever any doubt, I suss out beforehand.

    Having said that, if I ever did find myself in that situation, i'd say "Thank you, that's so thoughtful" and then confess that I didn't realise we were doing the gift thing. Then i'd probably refrain from opening it until later, and then (depending on whether the timing suits) I might try and get something for the person at a later date. What else can you do, really? If you're caught by surprise, people should understand that it wasn't clear that it was a 'gift' occassion.

    Yeah, I just do the ol' ''Your gift has been ordered, and now I'm just waiting for them to send it to me''. It works like a charm! I mean, even if they know it's not true, they can't exactly challenge it. Innocent until proven guilty.

    Are you kidding?
    "you might be expected to give something in return". If someone "expects" you to give them a gift, they probably don't deserve one.

    I've had very close friends give me a gift when I haven't had anything for them and I just thank them sincerely. They know that I appreciate the gift and they don't like me any less for not giving them something. I frequently give them my time and close friendship, that is more often enough.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now