There’s nothing worse than opening a Christmas present you don’t like and having to quickly rearrange your face to look pleasantly surprised, rather than horribly disappointed. One Christmas I didn’t rearrange my face quick enough and my mum guessed that I didn’t like the charm bracelet she’d bought me.
“Don’t you like it?” she asked me, looking concerned.
What was I supposed to say? Is it ever ok to tell somebody you don’t like their gift? That year I’d asked my mum for a charm bracelet, but I’d wanted a Pandora bracelet and she’d gotten me a Links.
I’ve got a drawer full of unwanted Christmas jewellery that I know I’ll never wear, most of it came from family members who seem to think I have the same tastes I had as a teenager. Back then my friends and I loved anything from Tiffany & Co. Last year my uncle Phil came over from the States to spend a rare Christmas with us in the UK. As we never see him, he’d bought extravagant gifts for everyone. My dad and my brother got whiskey and expensive cologne, my mum got a cashmere scarf and perfume and I got a T bar bracelet from Tiffany… I would have preferred the whiskey.
It’s a shame because Tiffany is a really popular brand and I know how expensive the bracelet must have been, but it’s just not my style any more. Of course I didn’t say this to my great uncle. I pretended I loved it and wore the bracelet every day until he left to go back to Florida. Once he’d gone, I took it off and it’s been in a drawer ever since. I don’t know what to do with it. It feels rude to sell unwanted Christmas presents but then again, wouldn’t the person who gave it to me rather I sold or pawned their present at somewhere like Albemarle Bond and used the money to buy something I really did like?
When my mum asked me if I liked my Links bracelet, I contemplated telling the truth. Maybe she could exchange it for the one I really wanted. I took a deep breath and said:
“I love it, mum.”
I wore it every day until I went home to my own flat after the Christmas holidays, when I took it off and put it in a drawer, right next to the Tiffany bracelet.