How To Return The Christmas Gift From Your Partner Without Getting Caught

by Jamie Kravitz

Christmas has come and gone, so yay for surviving what can be an extremely stressful holiday. Now the only thing you have to worry about is exchanging any presents you didn't really want. If the person you're dating gave you something you don't exactly love, you might be wondering what you should do. You probably want to know how to return a Christmas gift from your partner without hurting them or getting in an unnecessary argument.

Most of the time, your best bet is probably just to keep the gift. It may not be exactly what you expected, but when it comes to presents, it should be the thought that counts. If you do have a particular reason for wanting to return the gift, remember that communication is important in any relationship. Before you go behind your partner's back, consider talking to them about your concerns.

That being said, sometimes exchanging a gift is harmless — like if they got you a book you already have. If you want to return a present from your partner without getting caught, here's how to do it.

If You Have A Gift Receipt

If your partner provided a gift receipt, they may not have been sure that you would like what they got you. Including the gift receipt is essentially them giving you permission to exchange the present for something that is more your style. Say thank you, exchange the item for one you like better, and hopefully it will never come up again.

If You Don't Have a Gift Receipt

In the case that your partner didn't include the gift receipt (or if you lost it), the situation gets a little more tricky. Again, think about why you want to return or exchange the present. If it's a sweater that doesn't fit, you may be able to get store credit you can use to purchase the right size; call the store to ask about their exchange policy. If it's a gift you don't think you'll ever use, maybe you can regift it. But if there's no real reason to return it, just keep the present. It was a kind gesture, after all. They didn't have to get you anything.

If You Need To Hide The Exchange

So you really do want to exchange your gift for something you will enjoy more, but you're worried your partner will be upset. It might be best to tell a little white lie. Chances are, they're not going to inspect your bedroom or wait a few months and then demand to see the keychain they bought you for Christmas. In the event that it does come up, making an excuse to spare their feelings is probably fine.

If Your Partner Finds Out

Say your partner pulls a Ross in that episode of Friends where he finds out Rachel has returned every gift he's ever bought her. Don't start yelling or try to defend your actions. If you've seen that episode, you know that Rachel eventually pulls out a box of keepsakes and proves to Ross that she held on to ticket stubs and other important memorabilia from their relationship. She may have exchanged a necklace, but she kept the things that mattered. Maybe don't quote her speech word-for-word, but do let your partner know that returning their gift doesn't mean you care about them any less.

When you return a Christmas gift from your partner, either tell them why right away, or make sure you cover your tracks. If they find out, apologize, give them a kiss, and remind them it's not personal.

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