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There's no need to be embarrassed. Just because an acquaintance who didn't make your Christmas list got you a generous gift card to your favorite store -- which you mentioned in passing and she remembered, how thoughtful -- doesn't mean you have to run out and buy her something, says Daniel Post Senning, spokesman for the Vermont-based Emily Post Institute.

Read below for more of Post Senning's helpful tips to get you through the holiday season.

Communicate. If you want to change the price limit or policy your gift exchange, let your gift recipient know in advance. Don't spring it on them because it can come across as competitive.

(Jeff Durham/Bay Area News Group)

Accept with grace. If you receive a gift that you believe is expensive or "too much," simply accept with hearty thanks. Generosity is the heart of gift-giving.

If you don't want to keep the gift, say so. It is OK to say keeping the gift would make you uncomfortable. It is also OK to say you plan to donate it to a charity. Just follow through.

Admit, accept, and move on. If a friend gifts you and you don't have anything in return, simply admit the mistake, accept the gift, and move on. If you are inspired to buy them something, go ahead, but don't say "you left it on the kitchen counter" if you didn't. No need to be deceptive.

It is the thought that counts. As hard as that is to accept, it is the truth. Diamond ring or handmade card.



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