This woman has not received a good gift in 22 years. Not that anyone would guess!

An important part of not growing up is learning not to be an unbearable little brat when receiving a gift that doesn't particularly impress you. However, even though most people have a handle on the basic skills of not crying and throwing the item against the wall, not everone has mastered the subtle art of actually convincing the other person that you appreciate what they're giving you and aren't baffled by their idiotic and disappointing choices. Here are a few tips to really sell the idea that you don't think a mildly sentient petri dish could have picked you out a better present.


1. If possible, arrange for the present's immediate and grisly destruction.

The most effective way to graciously respond to a crappy present is to have it annihilated before you even finish faking a surprised and happy smile.  Simply put, if you don't already have a large attack dog trained to rip apart uninspired presents when you use a special keyword, it's going to be hard to avoid having to actually respond to the gift. (A trained circus bear is also good, if you have the resources.)

Useful attack dog signals include things that make sense but you don't say often, like "Jeez Louise!", "Another weight-loss device, hooray!", "Starbucks has such great CDs", "I love Kiss Me, I'm Irish shirts!" or "Thanks, Uncle Steve." With any luck, the dog will absorb all the blame for ending this misguided present's pointless existence, while you can pretend you are really disappointed not to get that...whatever that was.