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What to do with a gift you don't like?

My mum called me on the phone about a week ago to let me know that she remembered that it's DH and my second anniversary this month.  "Do you know what the present for your 2nd anniversary is supposed to be made of?" she asked, and (before she waited for a response) then, "Cotton!!  What do you want that's cotton?"

I told her we didn't really need anything, but wouldn't mind an extra duvet cover.  We have a duvet for guests in the colder months and don't really have an extra cover for it.  I told her she could buy something simple, for like $20 or whatever.

Then she starts going on about how she likes to buy things that are only Canadian or US made nowadays, blah blah blah.  She's saying things like, "what colour(s) do you like, patterned or plain".  I basically said whatever since it's just for a guest.

We talked about other things and hung up.  Two weeks go by, and yesterday I met up with her in Toronto.  She keeps asking me, "did you guys get anything from me in the mail yet?".  I keep telling her, no, and that I'll let her know when it comes (I completely forgot about the duvet cover...)

Today it arrives and I'm horrified to find out that she purchased a $150, red and yellow, Jacquard print, Made in Canada duvet set.  I don't know what I'm more horrified by--the fact that she bought this hideous duvet cover just because it was Made in Canada, or the money she spent. I don't know what to do.  I also know her taste, and this isn't even something SHE would like.

So now I know I need to tell her about it, but I don't know what to say. If she'd spent $50 on it, I'd use it for guests and not think twice about it.  If she'd spent $150 on it but it was nice looking, I'd use it on our bed and use our current duvet for guests.  And this is my mom.  I don't feel I can secretly return it and exchange it for something else.  But I also don't feel I can't just pretend it doesn't exist and never use it.  But I don't want to tell her and hurt her feelings!

What would you do?  

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Re: What to do with a gift you don't like?

  • I'd call my Mom and tell her it's hideous. I'd also laugh and ask her if she is out of her mind. I would then exchange it for something that wouldn't make my eyes hurt. 

    But this is my Mom, you know your mother.  

  • Gently tell her it doesn't go with your colour scheme, and ask if she would mind if you exchanged it.

    She must like it somewhat, as she thought you would enjoy it. Even though it's hideous, keep in mind the fact that it's a gift and be careful with her feelings.

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  • Are you sure she paid that much? Maybe it

    was on sale/clearance and that's why she

    bought it. Might have been a good deal, may

    explain why it isn't really her taste.

  • return or donate
    Friday, December 28 2012. The day I had emergency appendix surgery in Mexico and quit smoking. Proof that everything has a good side!! DH and I are happily child-free!! No due date or toddler tickers here!! my read shelf:
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  • Call and thank her for her thoughtfulness - and then kindly explain that it isn't really your style and would it be possible to exchange it?
  • To be fair, you did say "whatever." So, she bought you "whatever." I would just exchange it for something you do like, and if it's less money, you can get something else you need, like maybe new towels or sheets. If she asks how you liked it, just say you exchanged it for something that fit your color scheme a little better. End of story.
  • image chiualover:

    Are you sure she paid that much? Maybe it

    was on sale/clearance and that's why she

    bought it. Might have been a good deal, may

    explain why it isn't really her taste.

    I double checked.  there was a partially torn of "sale" sticker on the front.  the original price was $170, so I went on the website to see how much she did spend, and the sale price was $150.  

    I'm going to call her tonight and test the waters and see how she feels about an exchange...

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  • Talk with your mom directly and see if it is exchangeable.


  • I'd say thank you.  

    Seriously, why are people so uppity?

    I get so annoyed when people whine about not getting EXACTLY what they want. Be thankful you got anything at all, and a mother who takes the time to get you something you need.

     Sorry if it sounds mean, but seriously.. Grow up.

    Use it on the guest bed. 

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