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How to handle an embarrasing situation over Christmas gifts?

We have a very good friend living with us while he gets back on his feet. He’s new to the area and staying with us while he earns enough money to get a place of his own. (note we are NOT in a hurry to get him out of the house, we enjoy having him with us).

This Christmas we all exchanged gifts, and we felt bad because he had spent a lot more money on gifts for us than we had for him. We could have spent more, but were being conservative in order to avoid embarrassment. Apparently this backfired.

In the future I guess we could set up a guideline to avoid this sort of thing.

He was very gracious about it, but I really sort of feel like I need to make it up to him.

Any good advice out there?

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18 Responses to “How to handle an embarrasing situation over Christmas gifts?”

  1. FozzieBear said:

    You are letting this person stay with you for free (or at least less than it would cost him to have a place of his own). That’s quite a nice gift.

    Don’t worry about making it up to him. If I were in that situation, I’d feel horrible if my hosts spent a lot of money on gifts for me on top of them letting me stay in their home. Giving him more may make him feel worse.


  2. 1970 Mopar Muscle Gal said:

    your letting him stay with you is make up enough
    he’s a lucky guy BUT
    you need to set a time frame for his departure OR he will never leave

  3. jaycubb said:

    He probably feels indebted to you for the assistence. Accept it graciously. I would feel the need to do a bit more in a situation like that.

  4. coutterhill said:

    A true gift is from the heart, price shouldn’t have anything to do with it. Don’t worry about it. He shouldn’t be worried about it anything.

  5. Shizel said:

    i agree with the bear… your letting him stay with you… thats a gift in its own

  6. Travis Barker said:

    i agree with bear. If you feel that u still feel indebted than chek out these tips

    if he likes movies get him movie passes. if he is into computers get him new software. If he likes cameras get him a new memory cards. If hes a business guy get him a pen drive.

  7. steveo said:

    I wouldn’t stress it. I spent alot more on all of my family members and didn’t get too much in return. I could care less. I feel good that they all recieved solid gifts they’ll enjoy. I also get the title for giving the best gifts, something to say, I’m the man about.

  8. Lil'MissSnshne said:

    Wow, that is very nice of you to let him stay with you during his time of need, maybe his spending more on gifts was his way of thanking you for helping him during his time of need!!!

    May God Bless you for what you’re doing!!

    Happy Holidays!!!

  9. oldncrabby said:

    Why would you feel bad, he is living off you and probably wanted to give you something nice to make up for it. A gift is given from the heart and monetary value should have nothing to do with it. You are already doing him a big favor, so just let it go. You guys were probably thinking, he is saving money, so lets not get him more than he can give us, so he isn’t embarrassed. Really, that’s the way he should have been thinking. Better to save and get out, than to be spending money and staying longer. You are happy with him there now, lets hope that doesn’t change or he doesn’t stay to long!

  10. hopflower said:

    I think you are showing a lot about what you think of him by letting him stay with you as the others pointed out. A real gift, too, is letting him take responsibility for his own life and shape it the way he wants to in the future. Of course you got him some gifts and include him in your plans for entertainment once in awhile. He might be showing appreciation or even can afford more than you can. It is okay either way. Gifts are not about price and quantity.

    But he has his own life as you do yours, and it might be wise to let him go his own way as well. Do not let him take over your lives, and put some perspective into the situation. You are doing fine; ask him to come out with you on occasion, but be sure to reserve most of your time for your partner who loves you.

  11. sternchen said:

    I also wouldn’t worry about that. It’s not a big thing. You’re helping him, I’m sure he appreciate that.

  12. Hans B said:

    You’re already giving him a very nice gift by letting him stay with you while he gets on his feet, which by the way would be easyer for him if he didn’t spend too much money on gifts. I would simply say thank you but you really shouldn’t have, because he shouldn’t have. Its unwise to look a gift horse in the mouth, and I can’t imagine he would be upset about the situation, given the gift he’s receiving from you and your family. If you want to be diplomatic about it, just let him know that he’s welcome to stay as long as it takes. He should see what a gift that is if he hasn’t already. And maybe thats the reason he spent more in the first place.

  13. alexander said:

    DonĀ“t worry, the real thing about gifts is if they really come from your hearth, and not the price.

  14. chemistryfanatic said:

    for me right, im a student and we do this kinda stuffs too… but before that, my class will make it clear that the presents will not cost more than 5 bucks so everyone will get presents of the same price range.

    then for my friends, we have gift exchanges too and we all agreed that the present will cost from 10-15 bucks. so yea, hope this helps!!!

  15. ginai said:

    Just write him a note saying how you felt (at the moment) slip in a 50 $ bill- and say merry Christmas (late)

  16. Betsy B said:

    You are being very generous by having him stay with you. There are a lot of expenses involved with that- food, utilities, etc. You shouldn’t be feeling badly about this.

    When is his birthday? You could do something “special” for the birthday- whenever that comes up.

    When he gets ready to move out, you could give him a gift card to a store like Bed, Bath and Beyond for housewares. That will be a nice “apartment” warming gift.

    You said he was very gracious about it. That’s a good sign. He probably understands what you did and why you did it. Don’t worry.

  17. grbarnaba said:

    I think the two of you should sit down with him and explain you were being conservative in order to avoid embarrassing him,but also are concerned that perhaps the expense he went to in buying such gifts may have taken from his own money to put away for getting himself on his feet and into his own place. I would also make it very clear that you are in NO hurry for him to get out of your home,but you are wanting to help him to get back on his feet and be comfortable in doing it in a reasonable amount of time without a stress on himself nor yourselves. I also would set guidelines for the amount to be spent on each person or gift to be sure everyone is on the same page. I think you have done enough with giving the man a place to live while he gets back on his feet,some will take full advantage of the situation and stay FOREVER…… take a word of advice,be sure to set a time frame of how long he has to “get back on his feet and find a place of his own” and to NOT spend so much money on things when he should be saving for his own place.

  18. [email protected] said:

    time to say bye ,,


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