7 Ways To Make Opening Presents Less Awkward

twine gift wrapping

Photo: The Twinery

Before the year’s out, it’s a given that you’ll receive at least one present. For most of us, opening gifts isn’t something we’d particularly feel stressed about, but for others it can be a major point of anxiety. How do I react? Do I offer a hug? What if I hate it? These are all questions you might have asked yourself at one point or another, so to help you out, we rounded up 7 ways to make opening presents less awkward.

Of course, if you got your cousin a $20 iTunes gift card and she got you a Chanel bag, we can’t help you there—it’s gonna be awkward.

Read on for tips!

how to open gifts less awkward

Credit: Giphy

1. Open the card first.
Cutting right to the gift might be what you want to do, but it’s certainly more polite to open the card first. Plus, there could be info in there about the present (i.e., “Open the small one first.”)

MORE: How to Handle 7 End-of-Year Stress Points

2. Exclaim something before saying thank you.
While the gift in question may not be worthy of an “OH MY GOD HOW DID YOU KNOW?!” it’s still key to say something before “thank you.” Even if it’s just an “oohh” or “oh, cool!” it’ll make you appear significantly more genuine than simply opening the present, offering up a rote “thank you,” and moving on. And, just for posterity, why not throw in another “thanks again!” later?

3.  Smile—even if you hate it.
Nothing goes against the premise of giving and receiving presents than a scowl, an eye-roll, or an expressionless visage. Even if you have to fake it, smile. Unless of course the gift in question is a subscription to Match.com, a diet book, a scale, a dress four sizes too small, or anything passive-aggressive—then you’re fully allowed to scowl.

4. Don’t toss it aside the second you open it.
That’s incredibly rude, even if you like the present. Instead, take a few seconds to give it a good study. If it’s a wearable item that doesn’t require you to change (a hat, shoes, gloves, a piece of jewelry), try it on. If the gift-giver in in close proximity (ie., not sitting across a long banquet table), give them a hug or kiss. If not, be sure to do that when you all get up from the table.

5. Follow up later. 
This one’s tricky: You definitely don’t need to send a formal thank-you card for a gift you received in person (unless it was something seriously substantial, like the aforementioned Chanel bag), but you should always shoot a note or an email (or a phone call—remember those?) to someone who sent you a present by mail, or by email in the case of gift cards.

6. Don’t lose the gift receipt.
For obvious reasons.

7. If it’s truly heinous/ridiculous/WTF, snap a sneaky pic and post it on whydidyoubuymethat.com.

tumblr gif doug 7 Ways To Make Opening Presents Less Awkward