(Closed) How to politely decline overly generous gifts?

posted 8 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 17
1856 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

You definitely can’t say no – these are clearly people who love you and want to do something special for you. I think that your idea of spending time together with these people post-wedding is wonderful – that to me says you’re not trying to ‘pay back’ the gift but show your appreciation for their presence in your lives. While not on the same scale, I have similar issues with my Future Mother-In-Law, who buys my daughter presents all the time, takes us all out to dinner/special events, offers to pay for large purchases for our child, and wants to take us all on vacation. Some people show their love through this kind of generosity, and no amount of saying “Oh you shouldn’t/don’t have to do that; please let me take care of that, etc” will dissuade them. All you can do is be gracious in receiving the gift and appreciative of the time and effort they want to give to you.

What lovely generous friends, too. Of all the problems to have, this seems like a pretty nice one 🙂

Post # 18
159 posts
Blushing bee

Actually, the point being that by giving you a gift, its not about you, its about them – to refuse is to not acknowledge their affection for you. That is why it is perfectly appropriate to refuse a gift from someone who you DO NOT like, or someone who is giving you a gift with strings attach; you are letting them know that you do not want to be treated in that way. For example, I have had numerous men give me poems, small gifts etc. when i was single – if I accepted them they would think I was wanting to reciprocate, so I would refuse politely the ones that I knew in which I could not return the affection – that is the right thing to do. Even those diamond earrings I really wanted. sigh.

Learning how to accept a gift is just as important as gift giving. Humbleness is an art really; if the person who is giving the gift is to be acknowledged, then be grateful,  be modest, be reciprocating – the three keys. 

Also, to speak openly to them about how uncomfortable you are with their generosity (although you like them and like the gift!) is not polite either  – you are implying to them that you do not think they know how to control their finances. Only they can know how much they can afford – it is not up to us to determine that for each person (could you imagine? “please fill out this form for last years income – thank you’ LOL) 

The check grab is not for debate however because actually it has become more of a game in the last century, – if dinner guests are that uncomfortable with your Fiance, then they must “plot” a better course – get up to use the restroom before dinner is served and pull the waiter aside to let them know you get the check, or even make a phone call to the restaurant beforehand etc.   We have done that, having dinner with not one but three check grabbers in the party at numerous times LOL Then we all laugh about later over late cocktails, knowing it will happen again next week…In other words, your dinner guests knew that your Fiance is a check grabber, they should have refused dinner then if it so bothered them!  IMO Otherwise the more the merrier when it comes to friendly game of check grabbing…I would prefer that then the check splitters who bring out their little calculators (if I dont bring out my lipstick at the table please do not bring out your calculator!) and start pointing at people to tell them what they owe – ugh.


So I would say relax, let them enjoy you enjoying the gift, and reciprocate down the road with a gift in mind just for them. 🙂

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