Repeated gifts you don't like--what to do?

Rather than hijack this thread: http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=786486 I thought I would start a new one. I have a close friend who knows I like chocolate. I made chocolate truffles regularly. I use pretty high quality semi-sweet dark chocolate with at least 60% cocoa solids. I have a close friend who gives me every year a kg bar of chocolate. Overly sweet milk chocolate, Hershey’s I think. I assume it is at most 30% cocoa solids. I tried to incorporate it into the truffles the first time he did it, but the were distinctly inferior and I refuse to do it again. The second time, my wife found a friend who claimed to like milk chocolate and we regifted it. I don’t know what I am going to do the third time.

Is there any kind way of telling him that I don’t appreciate the gift?

What is the occasion for the gift?

If the gift-giving was a weekly or monthly occurrence, I could see this being a dilemma.

But it’s a gift you get once a year. And it’s food. You could donate it to a food pantry and make a needy family’s day. You could re-gift it again. You could break it into pieces and leave it out in the breakroom at work. You could find a recipe better suited for this kind of chocolate. Or you could just throw it away.

If you simply can’t bear it anymore, you could say, “Would it bother you if I regift this? It’s just that I’m up to my eyeballs in chocolate right now. Wife has a friend who really loves Hershey’s, and she’d love this.” Maybe that’s all you’d have to say.

It’s a gift, albeit one that is not up to your standards. Either find a way to use it or regift it quietly. Do not even hint it is not up to your standards.

Why would you tell him you don’t appreciate the gift? This would be something that makes you look ungrateful and unappreciative and frankly a bit rude.

Here’s how you solve this problem

1.) Get your car keys
2) Get your purse and the unwanted gift
3) Get in your vehicle
4) Drive to area where you know there are homeless people
5) Give gift to homeless person
6) Drive home

Not only will you be helping someone less fortunate you will get a warm fuzzy feeling in your bosum that will make you appreciate the essence of life itself.

Seriously this is a first world problem, there are people out there starving and some people trying to get away from jihadist thugs that want to kill them and others who are simply trying to work a long day to make ends meet and put food on the table.

Thank the person for the gift, and BE GLAD THEY THOUGHT OF YOU!

Because you could easily be someone with no friends and no appreciation from others

You say ‘thank you’ and throw it out when you get home, honestly, anything else and you’re going to hurt his feelings and for what? To what end, so he gets you a different five dollar gift that you probably won’t like? Who cares?
I know it makes you feel crappy to get home and throw a gift out, but you’ll get over it, promise. If it makes you feel better, let it sit on your kitchen counter for 3 months while you convince yourself you’re going to eat it, then throw it out.

When people say ‘it’s the thought that counts’ that goes the other way as well. At least pretend to like the gift someone gets you. To do anything else is childish. What you do with it afterwards, well, no one really cares. On the off chance that anyone actually asks you about it, you say ‘oh, I eat it over the course of a month or so’.

WRT regifting, if that works for you, go nuts, but just make sure it’s far enough removed that you won’t get caught, it’s a small world. I’d rather just toss it. If you do, I’d disagree with Monstro about asking permission. Just do it.

Sounds like you enjoy making sweet things, so why not take it as an opportunity to expand your horizons beyond truffles (if you haven’t). For example, you could chop up that chocolate and use it in cookies. Put in in peanut butter dough, people will go nuts. Or in oatmeal cookie dough, maybe with dried tart cherries for contrast. If you don’t want to do that, I’d take it into work to share, or give it to someone who will enjoy it.

No, there’s no kind way to tell them since they’re not doing anything wrong, exactly.
Make it into something (non-truffle) the giver would enjoy; they remember what you like, to an extent, it would be a nice gesture to give them back a finished item(s) they can share w/ others if they choose.

99 time out of 100; no. Sometimes if its someone you have a really good rapport with you can get away with being honest about it but those cases are more the exception than the rule.

It would be a problem if it was little china figurines of cats, and your friend expected to find all his gifts on display when he visits your house, but for a consumable item, the kindest thing is probably to graciously accept it, then quietly dispose of it.

You could maybe try engineering the situation by picking a moment that is respectably prior to the gift-giving occasion (i.e. if it’s your birthday, two or three months before), then buy a bar of high-quality chocolate and share it with the friend, subtly enthusing about it as you do.

If you were any kind of creative cook at all, I’m pretty sure you could find a way to use this ingredient up.

Just because YOU wouldn’t eat this kind of chocolate doesn’t stop you from whipping up a couple of batches of cookies for the homeless shelter.

Please don’t just throw it out. If you just can’t bring yourself to bake with such a subpar ingredient then just donate it to a local food bank.

And no, there is no way to ‘tell’ the gifter without offending, don’t even try. Just accept it graciously in spirit it was intended, and without comment.

Sigh. I think donating to a food drive would be the best. But my quandary was not really what to do with it, but is there any way of getting him to stop. I think he gets it because he finds it on sale after Christmas and says to himself, “Oh Hari likes chocolate, I’ll get him this monster sized bar.”

I have never made cookies, although I suppose I could learn. But I would really prefer better chocolate even so.

I know what you mean. At that point it becomes a bit of a burden, as every time you’ll need to dispose of it in some way or another. The ideal situation is a person gets a gift they can use, and if they don’t, they can politely decline and tell the giver why. But it’s become such a taboo to ever say a single bad thing about gifted items that to be polite we can’t do that and can only accept the gifts. And we can’t ever let the giver know that they got us an unwanted gift, so the cycle continues endlessly. I wish people were allowed to politely bow out of gifts they don’t want but society has deemed it unacceptable.

So, is being rude really the worst thing? I might consider gently mentioning the undesirability anyway. We can’t change society if we don’t try to make the inroads we think would work out better.

My mother is the Patron Saint of Wrong Gift.

For about 15 years she gave me a pair of corduroy pants every year. I even forced her to return them and told her I never wear such things. Still kept giving me them every year until I actively blew a gasket at her at Christmas, demanding that she stop buying them for me as I was tired of this crap.

Then she was giving me black licorice every year, despite me telling her that while I may like the red kind, I HATE black licorice and please stop buying it for me. Finally just left it on the counter and when she tried to give it to me as I left, said no, I can’t eat it, I’ve told you that before.

I’m with you on the chocolate. I only eat dark chocolate. I do not like ‘milk’ chocolate. I’d probably say something like “I appreciate the gift, Thank You, but I don’t care for milk chocolate. If you know someone who would like it, please give it to them.” and then refuse to take it home.

Send it my way!

My mother-in-law knows I like chocolate, so every year she gives me this high-quality, high-percent cocoa stuff that is bitter and disgusting to me. I prefer Hershey’s- anything cheap and very sweet is much, much better to me.

For what it’s worth, whenever my mother-in-law gives me that gross expensive chocolate, I give it away to people that like that stuff. Easy peasy.

I hope this isn’t too much of a hijack. But I’m curious about something as a person who doesn’t have a lot of friends, let alone close ones.

It seems to me that if this is a close friend, you don’t really have to worry about hurting his feelings about something like this. In my mind, a close friend is someone you can tell: “Bro, not this again! I still have the stuff you gave me last year! It’s about time you learned that Hershey’s gives me the beetus with its sweetness!”

You know, use a little laughter and fun.

Actually chocolate is an easy one to get rid of. Anything sweet and food oriented. You just say something like,

My doctor told me to cut back on sweets. I still make the truffles but I limit myself as much as possible now, so thank you for thinking of me, but if I have it at home, I will be tempted.

Back when I was married, my in laws gave me a sweater for xmas. I don’t wear sweaters. Ever. I actually hate the thought of wearing one. I put the box in my closet and forgot about it.

Until the next year, when I again got a sweater. Boggled the mind, as they’d still never observed me in a sweater. Wash, rinse, repeat x15. Lots of sweaters.

What finally stopped the yearly sweaters? Divorce!

ETA: Regardless of the question, you’d be surprised how often “divorce” is a reasonable answer.

I have a husband, and he’s also my best friend. When he gives me a gift, I always say thank you and pretend to like it no matter what. He does the same. It’s not hard to tell whether or not he really likes it- his initial reaction shows me whether he really likes it or if he’s being polite. Also I can see for myself how often he actually uses the thing I gave him. I did give him some sriracha candy canes once, two years ago- they’re still in the pantry. Clearly he didn’t like them. It’s ok. I just won’t buy those again. However, my feelings definitely would have been hurt if upon presenting them he’d said “Oh um, I don’t know I’ll like these, honey…please give them to someone who’ll appreciate them.”

To sum up, I guess we both value being polite to eachother. And I can tell he tried when he gives me a gift, which is all that matters. On the other hand, he knows better than to try to buy me clothes, and I don’t attempt to pick out music for him.

Maybe some people think being brutally honest is best, but I think the same message can get across in more polite ways.

I have a sorta similar dilemma with one of my sisters. Some years ago, I thought all of us siblings agreed to stop exchanging gifts at Christmas. But the one still gets something for all of us and our spouses. Which would be fine, except she’s the least financially well-off of all of us, and she buys really cheap and tacky stuff.

One year, it was a holiday coffee mug with candy in it - the most vile and nasty-tasting candy I’ve ever encountered in my life! Often, it’s glitter-covered ornaments, and at times she writes our names on them - and she knows we don’t do a tree because we gave her all of our decorations years ago. I’ve tried jokingly saying “Hey, I thought we all agreed not to exchange gifts!” but she doesn’t care.

I promise I’m not being a snob about the quality of the gifts - honestly, I hate that she’s spending money that should be set aside for her later years. When you look at our family and her inlaws, and I see that she gives the nieces and nephews multiple gifts, knowing she does the same with the other side, not to mention friends… well, I just want to shake some sense into her.

But every year, I thank her, and every year, the gifts go to the local thrift store. I know full well if I told her to stop buying us gifts, she’d really get her feelings hurt. You’d think I’d be used to it - she’s driven me crazy for the better part of 60 years.