Baby Shower Thank You Notes For Unwanted Gifts

Published: 14th February 2006
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This simple guide will help you to write thank you notes for baby shower gifts you don't want. Unless you're expecting triplets, you may not need three baby carriers, or maybe you received a bedding ensemble you didn't register for and clearly do not want. These gift-giving scenarios may occur and must be handled candidly, without embarrassing the gift giver or yourself.

When opening gifts at your shower, be open-minded and know that you will probably receive duplicate items or gifts you do not want. Upon opening the gift, thank the gift giver for their present. After the shower, you can make plans to exchange or return the item, but you should always send a nice thank you note thanking the gift giver for their thoughtful present.

Receiving Duplicate Gifts

There are several reasons why you may receive duplicate items. Thanks to convenient store policies, returning gifts is often easy. When you receive duplicate presents at your baby shower, immediately thank each gift giver for her thoughtfulness. The givers will know you have to return a duplicate, and usually someone will give you the gift receipt for the exchange. When sending the thank you note, do not mention that the gift was a duplicate. Thank the giver for their thoughtful and generous gift as if it was the only one you received.

Receiving Something You Do Not Want

You may have a friend who chose to buy a gift without looking at your registry. When opening the gift at your shower, it's always best to show your appreciation and find something nice to say about the item. If someone who isn't expected to visit gave the gift, send a thank you note as if you plan to put the gift to its intended use. If, on the other hand, it's a family member or close friend who is sure to visit when the baby is born, let them know before their visit that you exchanged the item and why. Here is a sample of an appropriately written note for something you do not want.

Dear Aunt Christina,

Thank you so much for the zebra quilt and pillow for baby. We completed setting up the baby's room last month, and we had already purchased a complete bedding set that matches the rest of the room. The ensemble you picked out is very nice, and I hope you don't mind that we exchanged it for lovely curtains we've had our eyes on. They look beautiful in the baby's room, and I can't wait to have you over to see them! Every time we look out the sunny windows, we will remember you and your generous gift. Many thanks again.

Love,

Diane and Brian

Receiving an Unwanted Gift Without a Receipt
Occasionally you may receive an item you do not want, and the gift giver did not include a gift receipt. These situations are delicate and should be handled according to your relationship with the gift giver. If it was a close family member or friend, it's appropriate to let them know you would like to exchange the gift for something else and ask if they received a gift receipt that you could use. If they don't have a receipt, hopefully you can find out where they bought the gift and you may still be able to exchange the item or receive credit for a future purchase. Thank the gift giver appropriately, as described above, especially if you already discussed your future return of their item. Here's a sample of a traditional thank you note where the gift giver does not know you'd like to return their present:

Dear Ursula,

Thank you for the fun animal mobile that plays the great tunes. It's amazing that some really wild creatures have been created to entertain our children! I know baby will have fun watching the monkey, toad and bunny whirl above her to Beethoven. Thanks again.

Fondly,

Diane


Receiving a Broken or Damaged Gift

With the advent of the Internet, registry shopping has never been easier, including having items shipped directly to your home. Occasionally, however, something may arrive broken or damaged, in which case the receipt or shipping invoice should offer detailed instructions on how to return the item. The store will usually ship a new item upon notification, in which case you should send a thank you note upon the gift's arrival, without mentioning that it arrived broken. However, if your friend self-packed an item that arrived broken, etiquette suggests that you do not mention the damage to prevent the sender from feeling obliged to spend additional time and money on a new baby gift. Thank the gift giver appropriately, as if the gift arrived ready to be used. If the package was insured, a label will provide you with detailed instructions on how to recover the gift's value from the shipping company.

When receiving gifts for your new baby, remember to handle yourself as graciously as possible, especially if you receive things you do not want. Open the gift, thank the gift giver and move on to the next present. Send a nice note after your shower and then find a new home for it or set it aside until a future need. It's important to remember that the gift giver probably spent a little time and money trying to find what they thought was the perfect present, and it's your role to show your appreciation for their efforts.


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