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Giving Gifts: Including a Gift Receipt

Giving Gifts: Including a Gift Receipt

The holiday season (and in my family the birthday season, too) is nearly upon us. This year I have one special request for gift givers everywhere, but especially for people giving gifts to children: Please include the receipt.

Gifts under the Christmas tree

It’s not that I intend to return your gift, it’s just that sometimes, for a variety of reasons, it’s not a gift we need at the moment. This request is not for the people who ask for ideas and then buy something specific among those ideas, but rather for the people who come up with their own idea. In many cases, I LOVE those gifts because it’s not something myself nor my children would have come up with, yet it’s perfect for so many reasons. But sometimes, it’s not. And that’s ok, too.

Most times, the gift giver has the very best intentions. For example, on my son’s birthday he was given a baseball glove that was meant for someone who is right-handed, while he is left-handed. Without a receipt, we couldn’t return it. One year, on my daughter’s birthday she received not one but THREE jewelry boxes as gifts. Wonderful, appreciated gifts…but there is such a thing as too many jewelry boxes.

Whether you want to admit it or not, every parent has watched their child open a gift and wanted to quickly figure out how to return it without A) causing tears…or worse B) offending the gift giver. Perhaps you already have the item or have something similar. Perhaps your daughter doesn’t play with dolls, but she gets one as a gift. Or, perhaps there have even been times when your child simply receives too much. As I’ve been going through some major purging lately, it’s made me realize how much I value those gifts that are given with a gift receipt. They no longer exist in our world, but they’ve been exchanged for something that will be well used. Gifts that can’t be returned often become clutter around the house. I know many people re-gift and while I’m not a big fan of this, I do it sometimes with a duplicate items we really loved.

For those of you who don’t like to include a receipt, consider including one next time. I know I will! And please know that if we return a gift it has nothing to do with your ability to select something perfect. We love the thought. And that’s what really counts, not the gift itself.


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