How do you feel about gift returns?
If anyone really knows me, they know that I am a planner and I like lists. A few years ago, possibly like 10 years ago…omg probably more like 14…(has it been THAT long since I was 16?!) I had a Christmas where I literally had to return every single gift that was gifted to me. I felt horrible. Really horrible. I don’t know how people do that all the time! But it was just that nothing was my style or taste and they were all gifts that I wanted to use or would have to use – like a lamp for my bedroom which was such a beautiful classic style my mom LOVED it and I hated it (I honestly still would haha I guess I haven’t matured a lot in the last 14 years). Or a fabric guitar case for the guitar that I had bought and would eventually never learn to use, but I wanted a solid case. Or the fabric pink/black checkered guitar strap which would have been perfect for an electric guitar and Avril Levine but I wanted a simple leather strap for my acoustic guitar. Things like that.
After that year, I’ve started being more specific in my gift lists. Some people don’t like it, but I can’t deal with having to return gifts that someone is so proud of getting me. It really sucks.
This year I had to do the horrid thing and return…not because people got me things I didn’t want, but because on my list people apparently only saw one thing: Bluetooth headphones.
I made a HUGE deal about everyone not telling me what they were buying other people. I didn’t want to know. I want to be surprised just like everyone else. Every year I know every single gift under the tree because we all coordinate. Now for me, it was stressful to buy because I had no idea what everyone else was getting – but guess what! There were no duplicates. So it seemed to work out well!
Until it came to my gifts.
One of my munchkins asked me what I wanted for Christmas. I told her what I really wanted was a pair of Bluetooth headphones and I was sure that my parents would be getting them for me. That’s really all I wanted. I had a few other smaller items but I told her that I knew I’d get a pair of headphones from either my parents or my brother.
The day I left for my holidays, I was given a gift bag by the mom and inside was, you guessed it! A pair of Bluetooth headphones. They were very pretty and feminine and fit my personality perfectly! I was so shocked but also a little sad because I just knew that I would be getting another pair.
Christmas morning, I opened a gift from my dad which had a note inside “I know you already have a pair but I didn’t have time to exchange these” – pair number two.
Opening a gift from my brother, I made a little joke “oooo Bluetooth headphones” and he half chuckled because he knew that inside was a pair of Bluetooth headphones.
Goodness, gracious! Thankfully, I hadn’t opened the first package yet – Le Brother says that if the seal is broken they CAN NOT be exchanged.
It was sweet that everyone made sure that I got the one thing that I really really wanted from my list. And in the end, I had lots of choices to choose from. I actually kept the ones from my work family. The ones my brother had bought didn’t have any wires at all – just little balls you stick in your ear. Which is actually SUPER awesome. They came with this little power box that you put the little buds into and you can pop them out and everything. Really cute. But I change songs and volume levels way too often not to have controls connected to the headphones.
It worked out well, the brother kept them. He loves them. He’s testing them out right now watching movies on his phone.
The ones my dad got me were red, which was a nice colour but made for super-sporty people. They were superly overly padded and you could only wear them one way (over the back of the ear). The controls were hidden behind the ear which looked strange to try to get at. And, most importantly, the battery life was an hour less than the ones my work family bought for me haha. So I stuck with the first pair I got – which I’m able to change the ear covers from silicone to foam, there are fins on them to secure them into the ear which can come off or switch from one side to the other depending on which side you want the controls on, they can be worn over the ear or under the ear.
For me, I think about the time and effort the person put into getting me this gift and how they picked it out just for me thinking that I would like it. My dad’s headphones weren’t exactly my style, but he took the time to go and get them for me. Which was really sweet. If those had been the only pair, I would have been pretty happy with them. But I still felt horrible picking a pair that he didn’t purchase for me because he made the effort to go out and select that exact pair for me. I did, however, manage to get every other big item off my Christmas list with the Amazon gift card my dad emailed to me instead of the headphones. And I should have those items before I go home. Prime shipping for the win!
This is why I make very specific gift lists “iPod Nano, 16 or 32 GB, in red, blue or green. engrave THIS ONLY on the back of it” type lists.
So thing brings me back to my original question: how are you at the returning the gift thing? Does it give you anxiety like me? Or is it totally cool? Are you a Rachel Green who just returns everything you get and then purchase something else for yourself? Do you just keep the gift in hopes that you’ll eventually end up liking it? Do you regift it?