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25th Dec 2015

The Stages Of Getting A Terrible Present

Oh another bath bomb? Brilliant.

Ellen Tannam

Let’s set the scene here, it’s December 25th and you and your family are lying around on sofas with your new pyjamas on, littered with Roses wrappers. You suddenly realise your Auntie Helen still hasn’t gotten around to giving her presents out and this strikes fear into your heart. You know that the present is going to be dreadful, but what do you do?

Flashbacks To Past Presents

Remember 1999? She hand knitted you a hat in the shape of a Christmas pudding and your mam made you wear it to Mass, despite your loud protests. It was itchy and everyone laughed at you. Or the time she bought you a Westlife pencil case when you were clearly subscribed to being an emo teen and your mam ended up using it to collect used batteries.

Preparing Yourself 

Get that smile on your face. That ‘OhwowILOOOVEit’ smile. Plaster it on yourself and do not let it slip. You know Helen’s easily hurt and will sense your disappointment like a dog can smell fear. Try and make your tone of voice as happy as possible. A good guide for this is any children’s television presenter.bilson-smilesSource: Tumblr- moonchildgifs

If Possible, Open It Later

If you can get away with this, amazing. That way you don’t have to try and mask your disgust/disappointment at another crocheted waistcoat and can bundle it into your wardrobe until she comes over for her monthly dinner, and then you can go on like you wear it all the time.

5008317361_05d62c0b32Source: Flickr

Compliment The Giver

If you have to open it in front of the giver, the best thing for you to do is shower them with compliments about their incredible taste in gifts. Commend them on their thoughtfulness. For example, ‘Oh wow Helen, I can’t believe you remembered that I said my favourite animal was the zebra on our trip to the zoo 15 years ago! This zebra onesie will be my new go to!’. Try and compliment the giver personally, ‘Thank you so much for this lava lamp, it’s just beautiful. You’re looking great yourself, what moisturiser is that? You look about 25.’


If you really have no use for a year’s subscription to Ireland’s Own, why not give it to your Maeve Binchy fan neighbour you know would lap up each issue. Give that Ed Sheeran album to the charity shop.

CamdenStSource: Dublin Simon

Be Thankful 

In all seriousness, if someone has gone to the trouble of buying or making you a present they obviously really care about you and want you to be happy. Even if after unwrapping you’re faced with a packet of interdental toothbrushes and a new facecloth, it’s best to be gracious and polite. Christmas is a time to be sound, so this year just accept, smile and nod.

What Not To Do.

Please do not under any circumstances do what Madonna did to this poor journalist who gave her some flowers that she was decidedly not a fan of. Don’t be that guy.