Returning Gifts

Christmas 2015 has come and gone.  It is a special time of year for many reasons, one of them being spending time with friends and family. Many gifts are exchanged as a token of love and friendship. 

So what are you going to do with that sweater you are never going to wear? Is it acceptable to ask the person who purchased the item for a receipt so that you may return it and purchase something you would like?  In the world of protocol, the answer is no. 

The only time it is acceptable to ask for a receipt is when an item does not fit and you would like to exchange it for a bigger or smaller size.  You may think to yourself that if this person really cared for you, they would want you to have what you want. That logic doesn’t work here!  If the giver wanted to give you purchasing power, they would have given a gift card or cash. 

Etiquette is about other people.  It is not about what we want but how we make other people feel.  The gift giver took the time to shop, purchase and wrap an item especially for you.  He or she was looking to delight, surprise, and please you with a gift. 

If you ask for a receipt, you risk hurting the other person’s feelings.  The gift giver might have been particularly excited about the gift he selected for you. When you ask for a receipt, you are basically saying the giver did a poor job of anticipating your wants or preferences. 

If you've received a gift that is never going to make it onto your list of favorite things, weigh the odds.  Is getting something else worth hurting someone who cares for you?

Best wishes for a prosperous New Year!

Colleen Harding

Hello my name is Colleen Harding.  I am the founder for the Cleveland School of Etiquette and Corporate Protocol.  I started my company 7 years to address a niche and a need for protocol training.  I received two certifications from the American School of Protocol in traditional etiquette and corporate training.  Today, I work with individuals, schools, companies and organizations that recognize the importance of social polish in daily life and the corporate world.

I spent 22 years in the corporate arena as an outside sales representative with 15 years in Broadcast Sales.  I recognize the competitive advantage a person has when they respect etiquette and have received protocol training. 

I am a Bay Village resident.  Graduated from Magnificat High School and The Ohio State University. 

I am an active member of the Friends of the Westside Catholic Center, St Raphael Women’s Guild and the Avon Oaks Womens Golf Association.  

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Volume 3, Issue 7, Posted 3:52 PM, 01.11.2016