Here’s the sitch. My brother sent me a couple of DVD box sets for Christmas. A friend gave me one of them as well so I’ll be returning the one my brother sent to Amazon and picking out something else. In writing the thank you note, would you mention that you returned the gift because it was a duplicate and let him know that you’d bought something else, while thanking him for making that possible, or would you just say thanks for Buffy season 7 and be done with it? Me, I’d kinda want to know because it would interest me to know that I’d “gotten” the recipient something else that they like but I can also see that it could possibly hurt someone’s feelings to be told that.
In a situation like that, where the gift was one you wanted and didn’t have already, what’s the point in telling your brother that you’re returning the one he gave you? You might just as well be returning the one your friend gave you. At any rate, if I were to inform a giver that I’d exchanged his gift, I think I’d do it in person or on the phone, not in the thank-you note.
I wouldn’t hurt my feelings one bit, but I wouldn’t tell someone who gave me a duplicate that I took “theirs” back because I’d be afraid it *would *hurt someone else’s feelings. How would they know and why would it be important information for them to have? The only exception I can think of is if they bought you Season One and you have all Seven - I’d be worried they’d get me Season Two next year and make it a pattern gift, so I’d be sure to mention to them at some point how much I loved their gift and “now” I have all Seven Seasons - no need to mention you’ve had 'em for years.
But me personally? I wouldn’t care. I even encourage regifting. Things need to find their proper home, and sometimes that’s through a few hands. I got a regift from my mother, who received it as a regift. We all looked at it and said, “ugh” until the person I regifted it to regifted it to another one of our friends who is over the moon about it. I’m not insulted one bit - I’m glad the Snowmen Dish Service for Four will actually be used and enjoyed!
What they said.
It takes some of the joy out of giving, being told that the gift was a duplicate. So I’d rather not know. Don’t we all want to think that our gifts are appreciated?
That said, my mom gave me Elvis stuff long after I stopped collecting Elvis. I couldn’t think of a way to tell her I had enough Elvis, she could stop. It made her happy, finding the latest Elvis thing and sending it to me.
I’ve re-gifted all of it, except the music.
I would simply say thanks and let it go at that.
My husband is returning the gift I got him this year. It was a Sirius satellite radio for his car, and I was going to get him a year’s subscription to go with it. But he says he just doesn’t spend as much time driving as he used to, and doesn’t want to deal with resubscribing every year, or paying a bundle for lifetime subscription, etc.
I have to admit I’m kind of bummed about it. You’d think I’d know something about the guy I married, but I’m absolutely powerless to figure out what to give him. I thought I’d done well this year.
He’s talking about getting a little TV to put in the bathroom so he can watch it while he soaks in the tub. To my way of thinking, a little TV goes a long way, and we have four already! But whatever.
LOL. I have a friend who is a TV nut. He actually installed one behind the mirror in his bathroom so that he can watch it while sitting on the toilet. When it is on, it shows through the mirror, when it is not on the mirror behaves as any other mirror.
I’m with you, a little TV goes a long way.
A couple years back, I got Lilbro a LoTR calendar for Christmas.
Middlebro also got Lilbro a LoTR calendar for Christmas. The same one. Oops.
So Lilbro held both calendars solemnly, one in each hand, and say “thank you, oh elder siblings of mine, for I see that this shall be the calendar to decorate my wall this year. Now the problem is, which of the two do I give to our common friend C, who will love one assuming he hasn’t bought it for himself already? Ah, I know!” He shuffled them from hand to hand several times and then we asked Mom (who was out of the room at the time and had missed the whole thing) to choose left or right. Please note that by then we had no idea which copy had been from which sibling. Then we phoned C, verified that he didn’t have that calendar (yet, he’d been thinking of getting it) and told him to hold his shopping horses as he was getting it for free.
The Buffy you returned? It’s one of the two you got. No idea which one! And you just thank your bro and your friend for it, period!
I’m with Nava on this one. Just return it, get something else, and leave it at that. I had this happen last year with the book Dragonology. My neice and a friend both got it for me. I returned one of them. As far as either of them know, the one on my bookshelf that they see every time they come over, is from them. Never been happier.
That’s brilliant, Nava.
Me, I wouldn’t mention the fate of any gift on the thank-you note. It’s a gift. One’s it’s in the recipient’s hands, it’s out of your hands, and the recipient is entitiled to do anything with it: cherish it, give it to someone else, use it for landfill, whatever.
That’s doesn’t mean that some back-channel communications wouldn’t be useful. I got two sweaters this year, and both of them are too big. (I may be working out, but I haven’t lost that much weight. Or length in the arms.) I haven’t decided what to do. I may mention it to the givers, but I certainly won’t mention it in the thank-you note.
(Memo: be sure to write thank-you notes.)
Oh dear. I’ve never written a thank you note for Christmas gifts. I always acknowledge them, either in person or on the phone or in an e-mail, but I’ve never written or received a note for a Christmas gift.
Sorry, AuntiePam, that memo was for me. Everyone else, please feel free to disregard it. I’m deliberately making an effort to be more social.
You raise an interesting point though: is a thank-you note by email as good as one on paper? My first guess is: yes, because it’s something that has persistance. It doesn’t go away as it occurs in the moment, as a conversation often does. (You have to press the ‘delete’ button.)
I don’t go saying I’ve already got a certain item. Mainly, this happens with books (I collect up local histories, my friends and peers know this well by now, so they give me books – and I’ve sometimes beaten them to the punch/second-hand bookstore cash register). I accept, tell them I’m really grateful for the gift (which I am) – and sort out whether I part with it and how further down the track. Without them ever finding out.
I’ve been disappointed once or twice when someone’s said, “Oh! Nice! I already have one of those …” so I don’t do it to other people. It does suck mightily.
Moot point. I only give gift certificates.
I would only mention it under the following conditions: I return it, don’t have another one, and the gift-giver is likely to ask me “what happened to this gift?”
In your case, there is no reason to mention to either of the two people what happened to your gift.
Returning a gift I gave someone doesn’t bother me–just don’t tell me right when you open the gift and want ME to return the gift and get them the same item in a different color, uh uh, ain’t gonna happen. I’m not gonna be someone’s personal shopper. Once a gift has left my hands, my involvement in it is over. My younger brother actually gets upset when I tell him to take his gift back himself. The Prince is just gonna have to get over himself.