How to survive the world’s worst gift

how to survive the world's worst gift

From: How to Survive the Holidays: the complete field guide

The Blender team has selected eight typical holiday horror scenarios and provided you with step-by-step solutions for survival and endurance during the crazy season that is the holidays. Read Scenario #1 below, or click the button above for the full online survival guide experience! (Looks and works great on desktop, tablet, and your phone!). 


The Situation:

It’s bound to happen at least once over the holidays. A really excited coworker/estranged family member/acquaintance gives you the most horrible gift you’ve ever received. Maybe it’s a giant t-shirt with their face on the front, maybe it’s a Stairmaster with a passive aggressive note, or maybe it’s a hand-me-down jacket that smells funny. How on earth do you muster appropriate class and grace?


How to Survive:

Step 1: Take a (brief!) moment to collect yourself and put your initial reaction aside.

surviving the world's worst gift


Step 2: State what the gift is out loud: ‘Oh look! A ____’. This gives you a moment to collect your thoughts and think what you’re going to say about it.

surviving the world's worst gift


Step 3: Compliment gift: **WARNING** Do not go overboard with a wave of compliments. Say one nice thing, even if it’s about the wrapping paper.


Step 4: Say thank you again and gently steer conversation away from yourself. “Who’s next to open?” “Are those grandma’s cookies I smell?” etc.


Step 5: Discard the gift. (or donate). Discreetly! If gift is homemade, hide somewhere out of the way unless the person who gave it to you is coming over. Then place it somewhere in the house.

surviving the world's worst gift


Words and phrases to avoid when receiving gift:

  1. What is it?
  2. Um.
  3. This is JUST what I wanted (this could lead to more similar gifts in future).
  4. Well isn’t this a winner!
  5. Any outdated phrases no one uses anymore that prove you’re forcing a replay (examples include Gee, thanks! golly, what a doozie…).

Words and phrases okay to use:

  1. So thoughtful!
  2. Thank you
  3. What a great colour!
  4. What a nice gesture.
  5. I can see you put a lot of thought into this.


Want more holiday survival goodness? Want to see all scenarios on a big beautiful website? You’re just a click away! (Button below). Remember, the site looks and works great on all devices, including your smartphone.



Marika Hirsch
Marika Hirsch

As Blender’s Content Manager (aka ‘Resident Wordsmith’) Marika enjoys bringing readers the latest and greatest in both digital trends and IR tips. Follow along on Twitter: