What's a gifter to do with unwanted gifts?
August 11, 2008 8:41 AM Subscribe
My wife's battled depression for a while, and though she rallied and had a decent few months, she plunged back into the depths of it for the few weeks around her recent birthday (which seems to happen every year, but this year was the worst yet). She had us cancel any birthday plans, cake, etc -- didn't even want anybody to say "happy birthday". After asking a few times and receiving this same answer, I went along with it; it was her
birthday, after all. Her mood has lifted since then, but she still doesn't want her presents -- says to return everything, and shuts down when I bring up the subject. Fine, I can return them, except for one, a custom order meant as a present from our four-year-old (call her "Olivia"): a set of coasters printed with Olivia's scanned artwork. What do I do with them?
A) Trash them.
B) Give them to her anyway, wrapped, and say "open or trash this, it's up to you". Seems blatantly disrespectful of her explicit request, though.
C) Unwrap them and then give them to my wife, saying "would you, uh, like some coasters?"
D) Save them for another holiday
E) Use them myself, in my own space.
F) Olivia was excited about them, and would love having her very own special set of coasters. I could give them to her instead. They would be a reminder of this episode to my wife, which could be bad (always reminding her of the ongoing depression that caused her to turn them down in the first place, and of the fact that she refused to accept a gift from her daughter because of her own issues), or -- in a way -- good (reminding her that her depression and actions affect those around her). (There's a small chance this could backfire if Olivia insists on presenting them to my wife as a gift; she's been, for instance, occasionally wrapping up her toys in packing paper and giving them to my wife since the non-birthday, though my wife hasn't connected the two as far as I know).