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The After Christmas Return Rush!

by Jacob P. | January 7th, 2010 | Elementary, Preschool, Teen Perspective, Teens

Every year, after Christmas, families rush to the mall to return unwanted, unloved, or duplicate gifts.  Now, this seems normal, but many kids don’t tell you what they really dislike, and others are just rude when they tell you this.

Many kids don’t tell anyone if they received an item they did not like, had another of, or find goofy.  Now, kids do this for a variety of reasons.  Some kids are afraid they’ll hurt the gift giver’s feelings for telling anyone this, and they don’t want to do that to anyone, especially family.  My younger brother, for example, didn’t tell my parents he didn’t want Tony Hawk Ride because he thought he would hurt their feelings.

And then there is the whole other spectrum, kids who will declare rudely, or even hurtfully, that they don’t like something, have another, or thinks it’s weird.  Kids who do this are either young and don’t fully comprehend the whole holiday giving of gifts thing or are kids whole aren’t taught to stop.  For example, this Christmas my four-year-old cousin, upon receiving a gift, declared loudly, “I already have this!”.  This wasn’t polite, yes, but he was young, so this was excusable.

Now, you’re probably wondering how to fix this.  In the case of the kids that don’t tell, you may have to ask.  Also, explain that this will not hurt your feelings and will make them happier.  Tell the child that his or her happiness makes you happy, too.  In the case of kids that are rude, it’s simple: teach them and use discipline.  If the kid is rude (and not just because of young age), take the gift from them for a period of time or for good and make them apologize.  In the case of younger kids, just tell them not to, they are young…but not for long.  If this happens after age seven, there should be a consequence for this behavior.

Kids and unwanted gifts are a tricky area of parenting.  There are some kids who pretend to love every gift, and some who are rude.  Don’t be too harsh, nor too soft.

  1. It seemed like we returned more stuff than we actually kept this year! I don’t remember it being this hard to buy for people way back when.

    John R. Carlisle

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