We’ve all received a gift that isn’t quite what we want. But when that happens how do you say thank you for an unwanted gift?
Most people have trouble finding the right words. They don’t want to be rude and bluntly honest. Yet still want to say thank you for the thought.
Well if you’re struggling then the following examples will help you say thank you politely and with tact. I’ll provide examples for various situations, from gifts that aren’t your style to those that feel too extravagant.
Say Thank You Politely For an Unwanted Gift
You never want to be rude when reacting to a gift. Even if it is unwanted. These are some polite ways to say thank you.
- I’m truly grateful for your gift. It’s a thoughtful gesture and I really appreciate you thinking of me.
- What a lovely surprise your gift was! Thank you for thinking of me – you’re so generous.
- This gift is a testament to your thoughtfulness. Thank you for going out of your way to think of me.
- I’m touched by the effort and generosity that went into my gift. Thank you for remembering me.
- Thank you so much for your kindness. Your thoughtfulness in choosing this gift means a great deal to me.
Thanks For a Gift That Is Not Your Style
If you’ve received clothing, home furnishings etc that aren’t your style say thank you with the following messages.
- I appreciate such a unique gift. It’s a wonderful opportunity for me to try something new. Thank you for your creativity.
- Thank you such an intriguing gift! It’s really exciting and unique because of how different it is from my usual style. Thanks for thinking of me.
- Your gift really stands out! Thank you for choosing something so distinctive – it makes for a refreshing change.
- Your gift isn’t my usual style but I’m really excited to try it out. Thanks for thinking outside the box.
- A big thanks for my gift. I’m looking forward to exploring something I’ve not really tried yet – thank you for helping me to get out of my comfort zone.
For an Item You Already Own
If you’ve already got the gift you’ve received you can still thank someone with these notes.
- Thank you for my gift – it’s such a favorite of mine, I’m glad to have another one!
- This is perfect! I use my other one all the time. It’s fantastic to have a spare. Thanks so much.
- You really have a knack for knowing what I like. Having another one of these is so useful. Thank you.
- I love this so much, and having two is even better. Thank you for your thoughtful choice.
- Your gift proves how well you know me! The one I have has been great and I use it all the time. So having a backup is fantastic. Thank you.
For a Gift That You Find Impractical or Unnecessary
If you’ve received a gift you neither need or want then say thank you with these messages.
- Thank you such a unique gift! It’s something I wouldn’t have thought of but i can see how much potential it has to be useful.
- Thank you for an unusual and thoughtful item. No one gives gifts that are as creative as you!
- Thank you for this surprise! It’s not something I wouldn’t have even thought of myself which makes it all the more intriguing.
- Your gift is the most interesting one I received. I appreciate your effort to find something out of the ordinary.
- Opening your gift I was surprised by such unexpected choice. thank you for broadening my horizons with something different.
For a Gift That You Have No Interest In
Sometimes you receive a gift that is completely uninteresting to you. If so than say thanks politely like this.
- Your gift bought me a new experience I wouldn’t have tried otherwise. Thank you for broadening my horizons and interests.
- What an exciting new challenge your gift brings me. Thanks for encouraging me to explore new things with it.
- Your gift has opened my eyes to new possibilities. Thank you for introducing me to something so different.
- I really appreciate you thinking outside the box for me. It’s exiting to receive a gift that comes from left field and is a bit more creative than usual. Thank you.
- I love to try and learn new things and your gift has pushed me out of my usual interests. Thank you.
For a Gift That Is Too Expensive or Extravagant
Sometimes you get a gift that you feel uncomfortable about because of how expensive it is. If thats the case then these thank you notes will help you.
- This gift is unbelievably generous. I’m deeply moved by your kindness and thoughtfulness.
- Your gift is so luxurious and amazing. Thank you for such an extravagant and heartfelt gesture.
- Honestly, my gift is almost too much for me to accept. Your generosity truly knows no bounds! I’m overwhelmed by it – thank you with all my heart.
- Many thanks for my gift – it must have cost a fortune. I’m touched by how much you have spent on me.
- I just wanted to say how much I appreciated my gift. It was the sort of lavish present I’m not very used to. Thank you for such a kind gesture.
For a Gift That You Dislike but Don’t Want to Offend
When you want to make sure you don’t cause any offence use these thank you notes for an unwanted gift.
- Thank you for putting so much thought into my gift. I can see the effort that you went to and it really means a lot to me.
- Your gift clearly comes from the heart and that’s what truly matters. Thank you for thinking of me.
- I appreciate the time and thought you invested in this gift. It’s clear how much of you is in it, and how kind it was. I’m really grateful – thank you.
- The gift you gave me reflects how caring you are. I’m touched by you taking the time to choose something for me. Thank you.
- How thoughtful it was of you to pick me a gift. it was so considerate. Thank you for thinking of me.
For an Unwanted Birthday Gift
- Thank you for remembering my birthday and for this gift! It’s always nice to know someone is thinking of me on my special day.
- Your birthday present was a huge surprise. I didn’t see it coming at all.Thank you for all the thought and effort you put into it.
- This gift is a reminder of our friendship, something that I’m eternally grateful for. Thank you for thinking of me on my birthday.
- Thank you for my birthday present! Celebrating with friends like you makes my day even more special.
- Its the thought that counts when it comes to birthday presents and yours is a lovely thought. I really appreciate it.
For an Unwanted Christmas Gift
- Thank you for my Christmas gift. It’s wonderful to exchange presents and share in the holiday spirit with friends like you.
- Receiving your gift was a real joy over the holidays. Thank you for your thoughtfulness during the festive season.
- I appreciate my Christmas gift so much. It brought some warmth to the holiday season. Thank you for thinking of me.
- One of the loveliest parts of my Christmas was receiving your gift. It’s always so nice to know others have thought if you. Thank you.
- I feel the love and festive spirit through your gift. Thank you for your generosity and for reminding me of the special bond we share.
After saying thanks for an unwanted gift you won’t want to be in the same situation again. Here’s a few tips to subtly steer gift givers towards choices that are more in line with your preferences but that won’t cause them offense:
Share Your Interests and Hobbies
Casually mention your current interests or hobbies in conversations. For example you could say something like “Lately, I’ve really been into [your interest].”
This way you’re giving a hint about what you might appreciate as a gift without coming outright and asking for it.
Praise Items You Truly Like
When you receive a gift you genuinely enjoy make a point of saying how much you like it. For example: “I absolutely love [item], it’s exactly what I wanted!”
This will hopefully stick in friends and families minds. So when you they come to buy you a gift in the future they will remember what you enjoyed.
Create a Wishlist
If you feel it’s appropriate share a wishlist around holidays and times when we give gifts. Websites like Amazon or Pinterest make it easy to curate and share items you’d love to receive.
Be Open About Your Preferences
If you are asked directly about what you’d like be honest but tactful. Say something like: “I’ve been really needing [item] lately,” or “I’m trying to reduce clutter, so I’d love experiences over physical gifts.”
This is a good way of demonstrating the type of thing you would like but not directly asking for it.
Encourage Group Gifts for Bigger Items
If there’s something significant you’re saving for then you could suggest a group gift. Bring it up by saying: “I’m saving up for [item], so if anyone’s looking for gift ideas, contributions towards that would be amazing!”
Thank Givers for Past Successful Gifts
Reminiscing about past gifts that you’ve really loved is a great way to guide people. Mention them like: “I still use the [item] you gave me last year all the time. It was such a thoughtful choice.”
The goal shouldn’t be criticizing past gifts or be demanding about future ones. Instead you want to guide people towards gifts you will genuinely enjoy or need.
Ultimately the one giving the gift will want to give you something you would want. So they should be receptive to being guided.
When to Keep, Return, or Donate an Unwanted Gift
Once you’ve graciously thanked someone for a gift you might wonder what to do with the unwanted gift. If you’re not sure whether to keep, return or donate or think about these few things:
- Keep the Gift When It Strengthens the Relationship – if the gift has sentimental value or is from someone very close, consider keeping it. Even if it’s not got much practical use the emotional significance may be greater.
- Return If Possible and Practical – if the gift came with a receipt or you know where it was purchased then consider returning it. Don’t worry, it’s seen as acceptable, especially if you can exchange it for something more suited to your tastes.
- Consider Regifting with Caution –
regifting can be a smart solution. But make sure you do it thoughtfully. Ensure that the new recipient would genuinely appreciate the item. And be absolutely sure there’s no chance of the original giver finding out.
- Donate to Those in Need – donating the gift to charity or someone who would appreciate it is a great way to pass on the kindness. It’s a way of turning an unwanted item into something really meaningful.
- Repurpose or Upcycle – you came even get creative and see if you can use the gift in a different way. Just a little creativity can sometimes transform an unwanted item into something useful or decorative.
- Handling Questions from the Giver – if the giver asks about the gift later it’s best to be honest but diplomatic. “It’s at home; I’ve been thinking about the best way to use/display it,” or “I loved the idea of the gift, but I found someone who truly needed it and passed on the kindness.”
Saying Thanks for Unwanted Gifts: Summing Up
Dealing with an unwanted gift requires empathy and tact. Very few people give a gift with the intention of it being wrong or unwanted.
So if you can try to focus on the thought and effort behind the gift, rather than the item itself. It’s still possible to express genuine gratitude while being polite and not upsetting anyone.
I’d love to hear about your experience with unwanted gifts. Have you ever received a gift that wasn’t quite right for you? How did you handle the situation? Do you have any additional tips or stories to share about expressing gratitude for unwanted gifts? Just leave a comment below.
More Thank You Notes
- Christmas Thank You Messages (for Gifts and Parties)
- Thank You Notes for Birthday Gifts and Cards
- Thank You Messages for Gifts You Received
Sally Gibson is the founder of Someone Sent you a Greeting, a holiday/celebration website. Sally’s writing work has been mentioned in Woman’s World, Yahoo, Women’s Health, MSN and more. If you have any questions get in contact with one of the team via the about page.