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Friends who get you a gift, but you didn't get them anything?


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Like the title says.....friends who show up with a gift, but you didn't get them anything?


I've had this happen this holiday season several times already, and it surprises me every time. Nice gifts too....today I met a friend for lunch, and she brought me a really nice bracelet. Things like that.


It's a sinking feeling to see someone walking up with a gift bag for you.


How do you handle this?

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I've had this happen both ways (they got me a gift, I didn't get them one or, I got them a gift and they didn't get me one). When I got them one and they didn't get me one, they always exclaim "But I didn't get you a gift!" and I say "That's fine, I just wanted to have fun getting you something".


So, I would recommend saying something similar..."Oh no! I'm so sorry, I fudged and didn't get you a gift!" And if they're a true friend they will say it's no problem.

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I handle it with dread lol. I'd like to know too. Had this happen at our work dinner. We all agreed we wouldn't buy gifts for each other this year. We usually do, and it gets pricey with our group of about 6. One coworker brought gifts anyways. It was awkward af.


I try to address it before we meet- an agreement one way or another. Sometimes people do it anyway. And sometimes people get added .


Growing up, we always kept a few neutral gifts wrapped under the tree 'in case'. In case someone you aren't expecting shows up, so everyone has a gift to open. I still do that for at home, but lunches and the like ( which friends and others seem to be suggesting last minute more and more to get in everybody during the season) have thrown me off.


I just go with 'thank you! I'm sorry I didn't bring a gift. '

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The neutral gift thing is a great idea! Maybe something small that I can keep wrapped in my handbag....OMG, I have one for you too!


I feel sooooo awkward!


And yes, with my groups of friends, we all agree beforehand. But some still show up with a gift. I like the neutral gift idea.


Last night, dinner with a group of friends, and it was actually kind of nice, because we had all agreed on "no gifts" beforehand, and we had a really nice, no-pressure holiday dinner.

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When it's a group, no big deal, especially if you've all agreed and then one shows up with something. That's just her enjoying the surprise act. I've met with friends where one will give us all something for no special occasion--just because, and I think it's lovely.


I have a group where one has already set a precedent by forgetting to bring a birthday gift for the person we were honoring. I know she had it, too, because I saw it at her desk. It was no big deal, she just gave it later. So I didn't feel too bad last night when we all met and the gifts I had ordered did not arrive on time. I'll just give them individually, and it's an excuse to bond privately with each of them.


I consider any one-on-one lunch or dinner date with a friend mid-through late December to be a gift exchange, so I'll have something for them regardless of whether they've brought something for me. This assumption has saved my butt from feeling lousy every time, and only one person in the last several years was taken by surprise. She insisted on picking up our brunch check.


I'm meeting with two tomorrow, so I'll carry a large purse and have boxed/wrapped bracelets ready. If neither initiates an exchange, I'll read the climate and possibly spring these on them anyway. If one initiates but the other doesn't have a gift, I'll withhold mine to avoid making the other feel lousy, and I'll just give mine to the giver another time.


It's a gift, not a contract. If you're inspired to give, then give regardless of reciprocity when you feel it's appropriate. If you're not inspired to give, you can always push your dates ahead into January to avoid feeling squirmy in December.

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XY Chromosomes reporting in. Can't say I've ever had this happen with guy friends of mine, but if I suppose if it were to, I'd say something to the effect of, "Oh, man, that is awesome. I'm sorry, but I'm lucky if I even remember to get my mother a gift, and I didn't bring anything. Let me at least get this lunch" or offer future drinks or lunch.


To be completely honest, there's a whole laundry list of people in my family I'd sooner get gifts for than friends of mine, so I feel like if you're a friend springing a gift on a friend, you should be doing so with the attitude of simply liking to give someone a gift. Hopefully your friends are that way.

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I've given people gifts without expecting anything in return. I like shopping and it's fun for me. It's not a big deal to me if I buy someone a present and they don't have something for me. What has ticked me off and made me break off past friendships was when I would do nice things for someone, but then noticed that they wouldn't do a favor for me or acted in other selfish ways. I mean, it's ok to not want to do a favor, but don't lie about it and then have me find out that you lied about having something else to do rather than just telling the truth.


Anyway, I like the idea of either a generic present (bottle of wine) but that is rather heavy to carry around. You could tuck a few gift cards in your purse, but meh, maybe too generic for a friend.


Just be nice to them and try to help them out if they are ever in a jam! Or get them something next time you see them.

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