Broke-Ass Etiquette: Gift Exchange
Q: Dear Half-Price Headliner,
If someone unexpectedly gives me a holiday gift, am I obligated to return the favor?
A: Short answer: no. Longer answer: that’s sort of up to you. If you’re the type that will stay awake at night crushed by the guilt of a one-sided gift exchange, then by all means, gift away. And then call your therapist. Kidding.
If not, listen up. I am very anti-crap-gift-giving. Shelling out 'œbackup' tchotchkes just for the sake of keeping up with the Joneses is a hassle for all involved and a strain on your wallet. A gift, for any occasion, should be thoughtful, meaningful, and tailored to the individual as much as possible. Otherwise you’re just swapping shit.
The best thing to do, in my opinion, is to be grateful, sincerely thank them, and remember the kind gesture. Next time they need a cat-sitter, volunteer. Pick them up from the airport. Whatever. But only if you want to. Guilt should not be a factor.
Got a question about how to be a polite Broke-Ass? Email Half-Price Headliner with your queries and get schooled on how to be proper-like.
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