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What To Do With Bad Gifts

Megan Mostyn-Brown
What To Do With Bad Gifts
It happens every holiday: One of your relatives attempts shop outside of the box and you end up with a cookie jar in the shape of Stone Cold Steve Austin. It’s hard to have grace when face to face with a terrible gift. It’s even harder to figure out what to do with it once the holidays are over (Will you really use a set of “Law & Order: SVU” commemorative plates?). Here’s a list of tips and tricks to navigate receiving an “unusual” gift.
  • 1. Remark on how “interesting” the gift is, and focus on the effort that went into choosing it.


  • The family member who gives you the worst gift is always going to ask you what you think of it. Not everyone is a good liar (the author of this article is in fact the worst liar ever and is doling out this nugget of advice based on personal experience). If you can’t manage a sincere-looking “I love it!” don’t even try. It’ll just make the gift giver skeptical. Instead say, “Oooh. What an interesting gift—how did you find it?” Because no matter how terrible an item is, it’s always interesting that the person chose to give it to you. Then cross your fingers and hope they don’t ask you if you like it. And if they do—mumble, “yes,” and avoid eye contact at all cost.


  • 2. Regift as a gag.


  • Your grandmother has always been kooky. But her choice to honor your pregnancy this holiday season by gifting you a knit replica of a uterus really takes the Christmas cake. That said, don’t be so quick to ditch her attempt at crafty anatomy. In six months when your best friend announces she’s also pregnant you can re-gift the uterus as a gag. It’ll be well worth the giggles.


  • 3. Wear it once.


  • The sweater your mother gave you may literally be the most hideous piece of clothing ever designed. However, if you avoid wearing it we guarantee she’ll ask you about it every time she sees you. Suck up your fashion pride and wear it once in her presence. She’ll probably never ask you about it again. And if she does, you can lie and say it got ruined at the dry cleaners.


  • 4. Embrace it.


  • For Hanukkah, your sister-in-law gifted you a chip and dip bowl in a color that goes with nothing else you own. It’s not your style, but it’ll prove to be a great conversation starter at your next cocktail party. And who knows, a year down the road it could end up being your favorite piece of servingware.


  • 5. Donate it.


  • There’s something out there for everyone. And though you may not be too jazzed to receive a Kenny G compilation, there’s a person out there who’s been searching the ends of the earth for one (well, probably not the ends of the earth). Donate your gift to the Salvation Army or Goodwill so it can find a home with someone who will give it the love it deserves.

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