#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 21°C Sunday 25 July 2021

The 6 stages of grief when you get a rubbish Christmas present

It’s an emotional rollercoaster, that’s for sure.

CHRISTMAS HAS COME and gone for another year.

And what does that leave us with? Some empty boxes of Roses, a battered RTE Guide… and, more than likely, our fair share of presents that we don’t really want or need.

Of course, getting presents is a lovely thing that shouldn’t be sniffed at. But sometimes they just aren’t quite what you expected. (Steak knives when you’re a vegetarian, anyone?)

When the worst happens, there are six stages that everyone goes through…

1. Surprise


Let’s be honest, once you hit adulthood, you can’t really expect presents from anyone bar immediate family. It’s a lovely thing if someone decides to spoil you. These days when someone hands over a present, you’re always genuinely surprised.

As long as you don’t get a vacuum cleaner again, happy days.

2. Intrigue

Source: Giphy

Your interest is piqued. You’re delighted. What could it be? You might even give the box a gentle shake. Of course, this mysterious gift might be expensive (one can dream), so a light shake is preferred.

It doesn’t immediately look like yet another candle from the outside either, which is a significant step up from previous years.

3. “No, seriously, I wonder what it is?”

Source: Giphy

No pulling at the Sellotape now. We’re not animals. Go gently so as not to rip the wrapping paper, so you can save it (AKA put it in a drawer, never to be thought of again). You might even have to spend a minute or two cooing over how beautifully it’s wrapped.

The suspense has kicked in, though. This year could be the year.

4. Realisation

“What’s this?”

shock Source: Giphy

It looks like… No… It can’t be. Can it?

5. “Feck”

socks Source: Flickr

It’s socks. It’s socks.


This is the part where you have to carefully conceal your facial expression, deftly hiding the fact that you’ve just received a pair of bloody socks for the fifth year in a row. Despite having dropped some serious hints about having enough socks to last a lifetime. In fact, you had briefly considered wearing socks as mittens coming up to Christmas Day, such was your desire to get the message “enough socks” across to loved ones.

6. “I wonder if this fake smile is convincing?”

faksmi Source: Reddit

Because you’re a well-raised individual you will, of course, plaster a big smile over your face and thank your gift-giver with enthusiasm.

Then, as soon as you can, shove those wooly nightmares to the back of a wardrobe, never to be seen again. Until next year.

Well, actually, presents don’t have to be pushed to the bottom of a wardrobe these days – all thanks to Parcel Motel’s easy returns service. 

Returning unwanted purchases with Parcel Motel is now more convenient than ever, with almost 10,000 lockers at 126 locations throughout Ireland. Not only that, but with certain Parcel Motel retail partners (of which there are now more than 500), online purchase returns are free of charge. This year, return your unwanted gifts with Parcel Motel.

What’s the worst Christmas gift you ever received? Let us know in the comments section. (We swear ours wasn’t socks…)

Sponsored by:

Parcel Motel

Read next: