What to Say When Someone Gives You a Gift (& Words For an Expensive Gift!)

 Of course, we all know to say “thanks” when someone gives us something; however, it truly is the bare minimum of an answer, and in some cases, will simply not do. 

Whether you are receiving gifts from a family member, partners, people from work, or friends, it is essential to have a few phrases in your pocket so that you can nail the gratitude aspect of gift-giving. 

Whether it is a return gift or the best thing that someone has ever bought for you, here are a few tips and phrases to help you handle the situation perfectly. 

How do you respond when someone gives you a gift? 

how to respond when someone gives you a gift?

Of course, the obvious response is to say “thank you”; however, in some cases – and with some gifts – that just doesn’t seem like enough.

The way that you say it will tell the gift giver a lot about what you think of them and their gifts, and it can be easily misinterpreted. 

The truth is that when presented with gifts, most of us feel so overwhelmed with attention and emotion that we seem to forget common phrases to show our appreciation and gratitude.

It can be especially difficult to know how to hide our feelings when we are presented with an unexpectedly great gift, or worse, a terrible one. 

Here are a few tips and phrases to help you in either situation: 

How to respond to a gift that you like 

Saying the right thing to a gift that we like, whether we expected it or not, can be more difficult than you might assume.

Having the right reaction can put you under a lot of pressure and ultimately leave you speechless.

However, showing the gift-givers that you are grateful is essential in order to avoid an awkward silence and quiet anger.

Beyond the simple “thank you”, here are a few other expressions to keep in mind when receiving a gift or gifts: 

  • This means so much to me 
  • I can’t believe it… Thank you so much
  • This is the perfect gift
  • You know me so well 
  • What a thoughtful gift 
  • Thank you for thinking of me 
  • You shouldn’t have 
  • This is too kind 
  • Wow, I’m a little overwhelmed – thank you so much 
how to respond to a gift that you like?

The main thing to remember when receiving a gift or gifts is to be sincere.

Whether or not it is the perfect gift, the chances are that you are at least grateful to the gift giver for taking the time, spending the money, and making the effort to buy something for you, so just let it show.

But, how can you be sincere if you don’t like the gift? 

How to respond to a gift that you hate 

Sadly, not all of the gifts that we receive are great. Some can be offensive, useless, cheap, or ultimately the wrong style and taste for you.

However, maintaining the proper etiquette is essential, even if you are unimpressed.

For many of us, feigning enthusiasm and gratitude can be very difficult; however, it is essential not to embarrass the person who has taken the time to buy or make you something and not show a lack of kindness and empathy, especially if they are honoring you. 

With that in mind, here are a few things that you can do to make it easier for you and everyone involved when you receive a gift: 

  • The first thing that you will want to do is find something that you like about the gift. This can be the colour, the fabric, even the wrapping paper. Letting your mind focus on something that you like about the gift will make it easier for you to be sincere when you thank them. 
  • Avoid any passive-aggressiveness. The tone of your voice will say a lot, and even using nice phrases like the ones listed above can come across as being sarcastic and rude if said in the wrong tone. This will not only make the situation more awkward, but it will also make the person giving the gift feel bad for no reason, so do mind your tone! 
  • Make your response short and sweet. The longer you talk, the easier it will be for the gift giver to see that you are not actually impressed.

Keep it short and sweet with sentences like: 

  • Thank You
  • That’s lovely 
  • Wow
  • Awesome 
  • That’s so nice 
  • How nice of you to think of me 

How do you respond and what to say to a generous gift? 

Responding to a generous gift is fairly similar to simply responding to a gift that you like.

A few of the simple phrases listed above will do to show your appreciation in the moment.

expensive gifts blog post image

However, to further show your appreciation, you could always write them a thank you note.

Although the idea may seem a little old-fashioned, it remains one of the nicest ways of showing your gratitude and will only make a loved one feel appreciated and valued.

It will not take much out of your time, but it is an excellent effort to make for someone you appreciate and who has been kind to you. 

You could also thank them by sending them a token of your appreciation.

You can use gift ideas such as a bouquet of flowers, a box of chocolates, an invitation to dinner, a gift card to their favorite store, site, etc. 

How do you say thank you for an expensive gift? 

how to respond to an expensive gift?

When receiving expensive gifts, it is essential to remember not to reference the price of the gift.

Even though they will have obviously spent a good amount of money on you, it is not polite to reference money regarding a gift, whether in public or just two of you.

It can make others around you feel envious or insecure and embarrass the person giving you the gift and provide a poor impression of you.

However, you can show them that you know how much the gift is valued and that you recognize the effort that they have made and are deeply grateful.

You could say things like: 

  • This is too much
  • You shouldn’t have 
  • How generous of you 
  • This is absolutely exquisite 
  • This is so kind of you 
  • You didn’t… I can’t believe it 

Again, adding a little extra to your show of appreciation can go a long way. A simple thank you note will show the gift giver how you genuinely appreciate what they have done.

It will not take you long to do and will definitely show a good character on your part, as well as deep appreciation. 

Read also about what to say when someone gives you and unexpected gift


Although the general rules of a gift exchange are fairly easy to master, having the correct reaction can make a huge difference.

It will make the person giving the gift feel good and will leave you as the person receiving the present with a good memory of the moment.

No matter the type of gift, the price range, or your feelings about the person, you have the opportunity to make the decision to present yourself in the best possible way by learning the proper response to any kind of gift.

Although it is just a fleeting moment, the way that you react will show a lot about your character.

You can choose to be kind, grateful and humble in those kinds of situations or to be cold, distant and ungrateful.

The choice is up to you, but at least now you have the tools to help you make the right decision! 

How to thank someone for a cash gift? Find out in our other articles.

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