If it somehow hasn’t happened to you yet, it will someday. You unwrap a gift from a distant relative or your beloved partner, and… it’s terrible. You force a gracious smile and say, “Thank you so much, I love it.” What happens next?
Do you keep the gift forever, letting the ugly tchotchke mar your shelf or shoving the hideous sweater to the back of your drawer? Or, once you’re home and in the clear, do you get rid of the bad present?
If option two horrifies you: why? It is 100 per cent the right choice. Unless the giver is going to seriously expect to see their gift on your body or in your home, and will actually notice when they do not, there is no reason to keep a bad gift.
Once you’ve received the gift, graciously and with thanks, your obligation is over. The whole gift thing — the buying, the wrapping, the opening, the hug — has happened and is done. Don’t let it be a burden.
Donate it. Regift it to someone who will actually love it. Sell it at a garage sale. Recycle it or throw it out. And then enjoy the sense of freedom. I promise, you haven’t done anything wrong.