Rejecting Expensive Christmas Gifts: Admirable or Insulting?

Rejecting Expensive Christmas Gifts: Admirable or Insulting? - Salvatore Ferragamo Wallet

I have a habit of rejecting expensive Christmas gifts. Even with revenge spending becoming a trend post pandemic, it's still hard for me to accept expensive Christmas gifts.

I've got a habit that drives a close friend nuts. She always buys me an assortment of Christmas presents every year, and every year I end up returning at least one of her gifts because it is way too expensive.

This year she got me a $390 wallet by Ferragamo (picture). I used to have a Ferragamo wallet three years ago, but it got lost or stolen in a tennis locker room one day. I was so mad because the wallet was a present and also very expensive.

I'm not into name brand items, although I do appreciate well crafted things. Quality, not quantity is something I've learned to cherish the older I get. For the past two years I've been happily using a $30 Fossil wallet everywhere I go. If I lose it, no big deal. My friend wanted to treat me since she knows how little I treat myself (she's read my entire Budgeting & Savings category).

Rejecting Expensive Christmas Gifts

When I opened the present, my immediate thought was, Sweet! But this wallet could feed a lot of starving kids. Gotta return it.

My friend could sense my desire to return the wallet so she made a preemptive blurt, “No! You aren't going to return this gift! If you return it, you will make me very sad!

The last thing I want to do is make a thoughtful person sad. But at the same time, $390 is a damn lot of money for a wallet! I don't want to be one of those folks who totes around luggage that costs more than the items inside. My Fossil wallet has been working just fine. No, it won't get looks from the ladies when I whip it out to pay the bill, but who cares when I've got a sexy smile?

I began to rationalize with my friend why she would feel sad if the wallet was returned. I told her, “Is it because you feel bad facing the sales clerk?

She immediately said, “No, it's not that at all. I just want you to want to have it! I enjoy giving you something I know you'll like and use. You always return my presents!

Related: Revenge Spend Time To Live A Better Life

Let's Appreciate Other's Generosity More

I told her I appreciate her thoughtfulness, but the cost is just too much for me to accept. I bought her a gift worth roughly $125. The only way I would feel OK is if I bought her a present of equal or greater value. But then the cycle would never end until we both go broke!

The best solution to our gift giving quandary is to stop giving each other gifts. I stopped exchanging gifts with my parents and adult relatives long ago. Instead we just go out for lunch or dinner when we're in the same city and fight over the bill. I would propose the same to my friend, but she just loves giving and receiving gifts. It's been a part of her upbringing. It wouldn't feel right to ask her to change.

The second best solution is to present the situation to all of you and ask what would you do if you were me? She earns an above median income for San Francisco, but is not rich. If she was a multi-millionaire or had a huge trust fund I honestly wouldn't feel as bad.

She says the gift makes her happy, but the gift makes me feel guilty. So wouldn't logic dictate she should return the gift if she wants me to feel good as well? I also get a thrill out of returning things because it feels like I am or my gift giver is saving money. And we all know that saving money makes us happier!

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Have you guys ever rejected gifts or asked the giver to return the item because it cost too much? How did you go about rejecting the gift while demonstrating your appreciation without making the gift giver feel bad? What type of compromise did you make?

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60 thoughts on “Rejecting Expensive Christmas Gifts: Admirable or Insulting?”

  1. Ugh… This has been happening to me lately. My dad’s gf has been very kind. We live in different countries but always sends me 3 or more gifts. Sometimes nice, sometimes shmatas. Honestly, it makes me feel like I have to send a gift back. It has gotten exhausting. Sometimes I don’t have time or the funds to find something of the same value or close.

    But on an occasion, she gifted me a LV bag. I mean wow. Not even my ex-husband gave me such a gift. I always wanted one. But I also didn’t feel like it’s too much. Last year, she broke down an old necklace and made me a diamond stud necklace. I love it. I never take it off. She even suggested that I could use it as an engagement solitaire if I ever wanted. But it’s too much. It makes me really uncomfortable.

    Recently, she said she bought a bunch of sapphire and emerald stones and was quite pushy on how I want it. I was grateful for her sharing the pictures of her purchases but I never considered they were for me.

    This is what I feel. Two things that make me uncomfortable.

    1. It’s quite nice to have been thought about for such a luxurious gift. But I almost feel like I’m being bought. There’s an underlying feeling of “I know you can’t afford it for yourself, so here…”

    This makes me feel quite insecure or insufficient. I’ma school teacher, and I know I can’t give it to myself.

    2. I feel uncomfortable being asked or almost even pressured into accepting it by my father saying, ” It’s from both of us.” I mean, thanks but no thanks. I never considered it or had sought out to get this so why am I being pressed to decide what stone, what setting, even if I wanted to become seller to my students mom. Like really?

    Again, made me cry and feel less than. (I’m not referring to unworthy, but I would rather buy things for myself with my own money or make payments. Not feel like I can’t do for myself these kind of things) even if it’s further in the future.

  2. You have nice, funny problems. Holidays are for kids. They’re the only ones getting gifts, and just a few each. We go out to eat and watch a movie. We come from a culture with a holiday every month, so the winter holiday is not such a huge culmination.

  3. Cindy @ GrowingHerWorth

    That’s a tough situation. I personally have never gotten a gift that expensive (except from my parents), so I’ve never had this issue. I’ve always been taught that it’s rude to not accept a gift, although what you do with a gift after it’s received is up to you, so long as you do so discreetly. Although I’ve also always heard that a woman should never accept a gift of jewelry from any man who is not her husband/fiance or a close family member, as such a gift from any other man would be inappropriately intimate. Maybe that’s part of the issue; receiving such an expensive gift from a friend, even a very close friend, is inappropriately intimate?

    My boyfriend actually feels that I should never buy him any gift, under any circumstance. I chalk it up to him being old-fashioned (there’s a 20 year age gap between us); I think he finds it emasculating to have a woman buy him something. Of course, I’ve always been taught that you buy something for your loved ones on Christmas and Birthdays, to show that you love them. So, I compromise: I buy something relatively inexpensive that he needs, or that we’ll both use. Last year I bought a very hard to find DVD of a movie he had long wanted to see (from the 1970’s). This year I bought spatulas and a decorative holder for the kitchen. Things he talked about getting, but hadn’t put effort into looking for, that I could buy as a gift, without putting the pretense of it being a “gift” (i.e. I don’t wrap them, etc). That way we’re both happy.

      1. Cindy @ GrowingHerWorth

        Lol! Awesome article. Oddly enough, I ALWAYS had issues finding boys my own age who showed interest in me. Even in my teens and twenties, guys over 40 were the only ones who showed any interest. Which was kinda creepy back then, so I didn’t date much. After the age of 30, dating guys that much older started seeming more acceptable (probably because it wasn’t so much older anymore). Oddly enough, my boyfriend does have an issue with the age gap though. His ex wife was actually a few years older than him. I think he would have an easier time with it if we were the same age.

  4. The purpose of gift giving is to make the recipient happy, not the gift giver. Your friend needs to learn that. If you are uncomfortable with the gift, give it back.

  5. Tara @ Streets Ahead Living

    If you returned it, I would suggest telling her you gave all the money to a local charity like a food bank. At least in that case, you didn’t keep the money and it all went to a good cause. Personally, I do like nice things too but I have my limits. If anything, I pay more for things with lifetime warranties from the manufacturer, like me spending $250 on my long down Patagonia coat (live in NYC) after my last one from a cheaper brand died after 3 winters. Expensive price doesn’t always equate with quality, however but I’m sure that wallet should last you a while.

  6. Was there something different about the circumstances when you received and accepted the wallet as a gift three years?

    1. That’s a good point. Save the fossil wallet for when the Ferragamo wears out. It comes across like you value the gift giver #1 more than gift giver #2 which is insulting for #2. No need to up the ante next gift round either…keep expectations low.

  7. I never get as far as having to return or reject a gift since the root problem is gifting in the first place. It’s obvious that you would never buy a $350 wallet now, even though you could easily afford it. Therein lies the problem in gifts. Why not just agree to not gift each other and buy the things yourself that you really want? Christmas doesn’t have to mean its everyone’s birthday at all. I enjoy Christmas just by being with my family and friends and eating. I don’t need to receive or give gifts to feel the Christmas spirit.

      1. I hear ya!
        If approached “w/gifts are for the givee…”
        “I appreciate you thinking of me, but I feel uncomfortable with expensive presents and I can’t seem to get around that. Since I know you (your friend,) are a giver, let’s argree on a spending limit. That way we can both happily give and receive.”
        As for this year, perhaps -sell the wallet on eBay or Amazon or return it yourself and use the money for families facing COVID-19 related financial heartships.

  8. Great timing, I was just at the mall, looking at Ferragamo wallet for my wife as a New Years present ( we don’t celebrate Christmas, so New Years is our Christmas).
    The one I liked on-line, i did not like in the store, and ended up buying a Tumi wallet for her I really liked, and saved some money on it :).

    Now, in my case (as well as my wife), we like finer things in life, and I know she would appreciate this type of present. I think YOU are conflicted about “finer” things (which I will probably never understand), so maybe your friend did not pick the “perfect” present for you.

    1. Maybe. TUMI is great value compared to Ferragamo. Good luggage at reasonable prices. I got a TUMI work bag. Looks sharp and way cheaper than this Bally bag I was considering.

  9. “…what would you do if you were me? ”

    Regarding the exchanging of expensive gifts, I would say that you already indicated an approach when you were thinking “Sweet! But this wallet could feed a lot of starving kids.”
    So, given the true meaning of the season (which not enough people observe), I would suggest that both you and your friend instead each gift the money that would be spent on these types of presents to your local food banks to help those less fortunate than you both enjoy the holiday season. Your cash gifts can be made in each other’s names, with notes exchanged between yourselves informing to that effect. You both would feel better for doing it. Think about it.

  10. Honestly, I love to get expensive presents. LOL. But it usually never happens… when it does, it tends to be from family or partners and it’s usually something that I know is coming my way. (Say, a laptop). I don’t know how I would react to getting something expensive that I don’t need. However, I can fully understand why it would bother you.

    I think in this case, you’ll have to learn to appreciate your friend’s intentions and the fact that she wants to give you these presents. It’s the thought that counts after all. Clearly, she refuses to admit defeat, year after year. :)

  11. I have a similar situation and I’m still trying to figure out how to handle it. I get gifts from someone all of the time, and while they are small gifts that don’t cost much, they happen ALL THE TIME…. I’ll be brought dinner fairly regularly (and it’s usually not something I can save for later which is tough when it’s brought over and I have already had dinner for the night), or I have things like cookie cutters, stuffed animals, cards, pens, seashells, magnets, tupperware, organizers for X, Y and Z things…. My problem isn’t the cost of these gifts. I appreciate the thought, but I don’t have a lot of free space in my house so I have a lot of clutter. I feel like I can’t throw any of these things away because of the thought that was put into them. But there’s SOOOO much, I feel like I’m just wasting a lot of stuff too.

    I did make a point of telling them that I don’t want them to buy me groceries. If I need something I’m more than capable of picking it up myself, and that it makes me feel bad when they give me pastries and I’m really not in a sweets mood so I end up throwing it out because it gets old. I get less everyday staples, but I still get dinners brought to me (even on nights where I already had dinner sometimes).

    I used to have issues with not throwing things out because I felt like “I might use that in the future.” but one day I did a cleaning of my house and felt liberated of all of the junk I didn’t use that I changed my habits and now I’m more of a minimalist who really doesn’t buy things that I don’t need or won’t really use. But this friend doesn’t seem to understand that, or respect my decisions on how it makes me feel bad to want to throw away the cookie cutters that I will never use but take up valuable space in my house that makes my life feel cluttered and claustrophobic.

    I sat down and talked to my friend about how it actually makes me feel bad and a little insane to have so many useless trinkets around that I can’t get rid of. Their response was that it makes them feel good to give these gifts because it shows me that they pay attention and care and that if they don’t give these things then they feel bad. I was made out to feel like a jerk for showing anxiety from receiving these gifts….

    If you find a way to handle your situation please let me know, I could use the help too.

    1. Wow, someone buys you free groceries all the time? You sure this someone isn’t your mom?! As an adult, that does seem kinda overboard and overbearing.

      Given s/he is giving you smaller gifts in frequent amounts, it means the person really loves you and wants to be a part of your life. The next time you go out for a meal, PRE PAY. You’ll feel better about it, and mom will love you for it.

  12. I must admit, I love Christmas, but I hate the idea of shopping. I’d rather just meet up with friends and family for dinner and drinks. I traveled this year to visit the relatives without gifts and we all had a great time. I got home on Christmas eve and gave the grown boys their Christmas gifts… contributions to their Roth accounts… and then hung out with the husband. No gift giving, no stress… best Christmas ever!

    As for your issue… I think your friend really likes to give you those gifts.. accept them. You don’t have to use them all the time. When the fossil wears out, grab the new one. Just because you received it doesn’t mean you are obligated to use it… although I don’t think I would want to leave a wallet worth that much sitting in the drawer but hey… it also doesn’t mean you have to take it back to the store either.

    1. Wow, that is a GREAT gift! I’d love to have retirement contributions from my mom! :)

      I would feel bad keeping the wallet unused in the drawer waiting to get used. It would kinda burn a hole in my pocket.

  13. Is she giving you gifts she thinks you’ll like, or gifts she would really like to get? Seems she doesn’t know you well enough to give you a great gift that makes you happy. My wife loves warm socks, seriously makes her super happy, so I stopped trying for nicer gifts, because it’s not possible.

  14. Although I love high quality things, I would feel very uncomfortable accepting expensive gifts like that. It is difficult to reciprocate and what if you just don’t like it. Personally, I would rather celebrate with a dinner or event for both of us to share. More enjoyable and it cannot be returned.

  15. Agree with Jay – at the root of your experience is that your friend knows you don’t want expensive gifts but gives them to you anyway. The conflict is that she isn’t respecting your wishes and values, and now you’re struggling with respecting her control (“no, you can’t return it”) of you, as you should. So if you’re not going to reject her control and return it anyway, you need to figure out a way to let her indulge you, satisfying her needs, without her buying you extravagant gifts, satisfying your needs.

    It’s possible, but it takes practice and a dedication to real communication. Start with “When you buy me expensive gifts, it makes me feel…” then “what I would prefer is…” and end with “what do you need from me to help make this happen?”

    On the gifting front, my family still buys me gifts, so I make a point of giving them a list of things I’d enjoy that are inexpensive – books, CDs, etc. It eliminates some of the surprise, but ensures there’s no budget issues, or getting useless gifts.

    For my spouse, we set a limit, both for our family, and for each other, and then occasionally blow the budget for something extra special just to keep things from getting boring.

  16. This post is about ‘control’, rather than ‘expensive gifts’.

    Sounds like you and your close friend care about each other very much, and she is quite aware of this conflict but chose to give you the gift anyway. This might be a hard conversation to have with her, but can you ask her what she thinks about preventing this conflict in the future? You don’t have to get your way all the time, but if she can find a way to respect your desires for low-key practicality some of the time, while you find a way to accept her desire to indulge you others, you may find it one of the best conversations you ever had.

      1. “My wife bought me an exotic wallet, made of Elephant foreskin. You rub it real fast, and it turns into a suitcase!” – Jackie Vernon

        FS, Money is not the issue. Affordability is not the issue. Suitability is not the issue. Desire is not the issue. What is the issue? Somehow, I don’t think any elaboration is required on the issue of ‘control’, but I’ll play along.

        This gift situation is now a negotiation and both parties have already lost, when it could have been a win-win. Keep the wallet, you feel guilty and your face already told her something different than she was hoping for. Return it, you know she will find it unsatisfying after spending the time and effort to seek out something she already knows you enjoyed. You both know you have this habit, you both know it drives her crazy, she knew how you would react and you reacted in a way that drives her crazy, and we all know you aren’t going to take the proceeds and donate it to starving children.

        Sam, you have indicated your pride in your poker playing ability. Yet, within moments of you opening this present, your ‘close friend’ read your ‘tell’. I suggest you ask her permission to return the wallet, and spend the money on Acting lessons so you don’t give away your true feelings about her gift. If there is truly no ‘control’ issue, you would have no problem opening the gift and no matter what it was, say “thanks! This is just what I wanted, and I will think of you because I’ll use it every day!”:-)

  17. Done by Forty

    I’ve got a post in the works on the unintended consequences of gift-giving, that hits on one of the points you mentioned: you only really feel okay if the gifts are of equal value, or if you gave more than the recipient did. This creates a bit of a giving arms race, in some cases.

    I can see why the giver doesn’t want the gift to be returned (after all, it means the recipient isn’t actually using your supposedly thoughtful gift). But I get your point, too…there are some items/costs that don’t match up. I couldn’t wear a piece of clothing that’s above a certain dollar figure…I’d be too worried about spilling something on it.

  18. I agree. That seems like an awfully expensive present for “just a friend” – I hope no one is being misunderstood in this situation. That said, I recognize that everyone has different levels in terms of cost. My general rule is that you can do all the discussion about gift prices before the actual gift giving. Afterwards, all you can do is smile and graciously accept, knowing that you need to have a better discussion with the other person before next year rolls around (or preferably throughout the year, letting her know why expensive gifts do the opposite of bringing you happiness)

    1. It’s a close friend. I hear you on laying out the rules beforehand. Given she reads this blog I figure this is a new age way to share my thoughts. We had a discussion and perhaps we’ll do an all year dollar amount limit!

  19. I never got really expensive gifts so I don’t have that problem. :)
    This year Mrs. RB40 donated to a few charities with her parent’s name. That seems to work out really well. Maybe she can do that instead of getting you expensive gifts.

  20. This sounds like it may be more of a question of opulence vs. quality. I am a big believer in purchasing a select set of items based on their quality (aren’t necessarily the most expensive) but am not a believer in opulence. For me, I would return the gift as it feels more like opulence than quality (Although I am sure it has high quality as well but you get the idea). Your friend should know and respect you enough to realize that you are not one to accept expensive gifts. If you are consistent, then it should not be a surprise that you want to return the gift. Per the other comments, you could set a limit on the spend – one option is to make the spend limit low such that the friend(s) needs to be creative in the type of gift that they know you will really appreciate. You could also opt to stop exchanging gifts and donate to a charity that you value. Just depends on how extreme you want to take it.

      1. Well that’s just it. It’s a wallet with which to hold money. Sounds opulent to me… I say keep it because t comes from a good place. I have saved to buy friends expensive presents before. Things that they not only wanted, but needed. I’d have been crushed if they rejected them!!! Unless your friend is a fool who will spend beyond her means, accept it and tell her you prefer cheaper presents so as not to feel guilty or pressured into accepting them! Any gift is lost when the receiver cringes about having it. Good luck.

  21. I think that’s a pretty extravagant gift from a friend. We struggle with saying no to gifts from Mr PoP’s parents because they want to give us things that are not only too extravagant, but in some cases they end up causing us to take on additional expenses which is another headache.

    1. That’s a very good point, and one to which I strongly prescribe. As I mentioned in my other post, I have (more than one) relative who thinks the latest “gadget” is the best gift imaginable.
      Do I have to upgrade my internet service to use it? Do I have to hire a professional to hook it up? Do I have to spend every weekend for 3 months on the phone with customer service to figure out how it works? Or take a Will the technology be obsolete by the time I can figure out how to use it? Do I have to subscribe to a service to download stuf to read, see or listen to on it? How much will that cost? Can I afford it?
      When someone wants to send me electronics I ask MANY questions before they send it to me.
      Not exactly like sending a pet, but most electronics are not “stand alone” items. They cost the recipient money and effort to use.
      Know your audience before you send the gift.

  22. Gift Exchange

    Why not agree on a dollar limit for any gifts exchanged? That way, she can still feel good about sharing and you know you didn’t spend less on your gift to her.

    1. B/c it’s like a prenup. It kinda of ruins the moment by putting a dollar limit. But now that the cat is out of the bag, why not. $150 limit it is! I would say $100, but tennis racquets cost $150 :)

  23. Insourcelife

    That’s an insane gift to receive from a friend. I would also feel weird and want to return it. Sounds like your friend really wants you to have this big gift, so maybe you can still return it and use the money to do something together instead? Turn it into a gift both of you can enjoy?

  24. I don’t enjoy the whole gift buying and receiving experience mostly because I’m simply not a great retail shopper and don’t keep up on the latest, greatest trends in any category. In my mind, I never seem to buy the right gifts for people (a self-confidence issue I’m sure), so I am a gift card and cash giver, or I/we dine out with friends and family to celebrate. The holidays, in my opinion, are just too much pressure–on both sides of the coin–even as the recipient of a gift! Did I thank the person properly? Was my smile big enough and, more importantly, genuine enough? Strees, I tell ya! My husband calls me Scrooge and admittedly I am on the one day gifts are expected. (We celebrate Christmas.) But throughout the year, I am over-the-top generous with family and friends. I love treating those dear to me, whether it’s a meal out, or giving money when someone suffers a setback in life, or a gift for a special occasion. And since I totally sidetracked your question–sorry about that–in closing, I’d say that gift giving should be about the recipient, and even though your friend has wonderful intentions, she should respect your wishes. Every great relationship has boundaries of some sort, right?

    1. I have a relative who is crazy about electronics. I am not. I have tons of electronics (gifts) covered with dust in my apartment. It is so stressful for me to set them up, the remotes don’t work, the manual controls don’t work, I can’t connect them properly, etc. I never use them. They are expensive, now outdated and un-biodegradable garbage.
      I have many important expenses (including household basics) that have a lot of meaning to me. In particular I have a gym membership where there is a beautiful pool where I swim almost everyday. If I could take all the unused gifts I have received it would pay for my membership for at least a year.
      So the people who are spending their very hard earned cash on something that makes them feel good and really do not care how it makes me feel.
      Would you send a teetotaler who is just keeping it together enough to pay the bills a bottle of expensive champagne? I guess they could re-gift it – but does that show a real interest in giving a the person a “gift”?
      No. The recipient just feels like the person has wasted money on something that is a thorn in their side.
      I reject gifts that are a complete waste of money on something I have specifically told the gifter are more of a burden to me than a gift.
      Don’t stress me out with something you “know I would like” when I have specifically asked you not to send it to me.
      Would you send a diabetic a box of Godiva Chocolates?
      I hope not. You must be sure that this is NOT something that would
      benefit this person – if they are actually a person you care about.
      Saying “thank you” is nice. So is “no thank you”.

  25. MakintheBacon

    Personally, I’ve never rejected expensive gifts. I wish I could reject cheap, crappy gifts I’ve gotten in the past though. Lol. If they want to give you an expensive gift, then that is their choice, but perhaps you should discuss with your friend about setting a price limit on the gifts to curb the excessive spending.
    I am at the point where I prefer getting gift cards, cash, or getting taken out to dinner. I don’t really need anymore stuff.

    1. Ha! It’s the cheap and crappy gifts I cherish the most actually. I once got a toy golf watch from my mom she found in a drawer that was already 10 years old. It had a green band and wasn’t too attractive. But I wore it every day until the strap broke off!

  26. Ironic timing because I JUST posted the counterpoint to this, which went live Christmas morning. My take was to only reject a gift in extreme circumstances because by rejecting the gift you were taking away that awesome feeling of giving from the person. I used to reject gifts all the time, but now it’s very rare. It does make me uncomfortable some times.

      1. One solution to the arms race is to give gifts when you feel like it. So skip years if there’s nothing that comes to mind. Sometimes you feel compelled to buy gifts (Christmas). Just skip a year if there’s nothing good to buy. Then save it for the next time.

        Easier to do when your relationship is solid (ex: family). And if you don’t like gift exchange anyhow.

        Obligatory gift giving creates up unnecessary stress and financial loss anyway.

  27. Fascinating!!

    We took a “direct” approach by sending a letter to family and friends letting them know that were would give away anything they gifted us (because we really do enjoy helping other people).

    Of course we made in abundantly clear that the best gift of all was spending time with them!!! We still received a few gifts from insistant family members. We just smiled and said, “we know someone else will really enjoy this!!”. ;-)

    Did you end up returning the wallet Sam? I understand the delima but your friend should also understand that your value system is different than hers when giving you gifts (that shows thoughtfulness right?!). Good luck!!

    1. Very proactive of you to send letters to tell friends and family you’ll be giving away their presents!

      What’s a letter anyway? Haven’t sent one of those in a while.

      I still have the wallet. Got several more days for her to return.

      1. I think you should keep the wallet…why? because it will make your friend HAPPY and happiness is more important than money….also you are rejecting her gift and that is mean and insulting…..

        1. Some people are different. My boyfriend got me diamond earings. I don’t want them, I actually want to return them. Not because I don’t like them nor because I am rude. I just think the same that the article explains, the money used to pay for them could pay instead for christmas dinner for homeless people. But, like I said everyone is different. I feel happier just camping under the moon, than having expensive jewerly. That is how I am.

          1. You sound like my boyfriend …..practical to the core…..maybe you should date him and I should date your boyfriend….if my boyfriend got me diamond earings, I would be thrilled, but as you said everyone is different. My boyfriend also likes camping and I hate it….again sounds like you and my boyfriend would be a match….ha!!!! I still think however that when you reject a person’s gift in a way it is a form of rejection of that person…and I also think it is a “put down” to that person who went to the trouble to get something they thought you might like. I think that no matter what the gift is you should accept it graciously and be thankful that you got a gift at all.
            If you want to help the homeless people take your own money and buy them Christmas dinner.

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