EWTN Catholic Q&A
Inappropriate gifts
Question from Anonymous on 12-16-2012:

I have a friend who gave me a "Zen Tarot Card Deck" for Christmas. I'm sure she meant no harm, but I clearly have no intention of using it. Should I have said something to her? What could I have said that would not have offended her? I'm not even sure if it is okay to have it in my house, but I'm afraid if I get rid of it then she may come over or ask about it and then I will have offended her anyway. How should we handle a situation like this?

Answer by Catholic Answers on 01-07-2013:


I recommend that you discreetly dispose of the deck and say nothing to your friend. Gift-givers are not supposed to inquire whether or not recipients are using gifts to avoid causing embarrassment if the gift missed the mark. If your friend does ask, you might say blandly, "I appreciated the thought you put into it, but it wasn't something I could use, so I passed it on." Then change the subject. Your friend does not need to know, and likely does not want to know, that you passed the deck on to your local sanitation workers via the trash can.

Michelle Arnold
Catholic Answers