Ask B: When You Give a Gift and Don’t Get a Thank You

Dear B, 

I recently gave a friend a Christmas gift, however he never acknowledged it – no thank you text, no thank you call, no thank you note. Admittedly, I’m a bit hurt that he didn’t say thank you when I took the time to pick out a special present for him. Do I bring it up with him or just leave it alone?




First, let me start by saying Happy New Year! As for your question, while I can understand your disappointment and how disconcerting it must feel to not have your beautiful gift acknowledged, I recommend you leave this one alone. Did your friend need to say thank you and even more write a thank you note? Absolutely. Saying thank you and writing a thank you note is always the courteous thing to do. However, perhaps you can give him the benefit of the doubt and attribute the etiquette infraction to being distracted with the chaos of the holiday season. Confronting him about it likely won’t achieve anything, and could even cause awkwardness between you two. Consider this new mindset – when you give a gift, do it because you want to bring a smile to that person’s face, not because you expect anything in return. And if they say thank you and better yet write a note, then how wonderful.


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