How to Fake a Reaction to Presents That are Worse Than Coal

The Lance’s guide to faking a reaction to a bad Christmas gift

It’s Christmas day, and you can finally open that present you’ve been eyeing under the tree for the past week. As you tear through the wrapping paper, you imagine all the possibilities of what the gift could be, only to see…an SAT prep book? At that moment, you realize you need to fake your reaction. Since Christmas is right around the corner, use this as your guide to help you navigate those awkward situations and confidently respond to presents that are so awful, they ruin the Christmas spirit.

Tip #1: Take Deep Breaths

While faking a response, it’s important to control your emotions toward a disappointing gift. So before you do anything, take deep breaths. This allows you to control your emotions if upset, and helps you better prepare for the reaction itself.

Tip #2: Smile

When faking a response, one of the simplest things that can go a long way is just to smile. By smiling, it shows that you truly appreciate the gift (or at least they’ll think you do). Try to maintain your smile, as you would for a gift you would like. It’s important not to overexaggerate your smile, as doing so will make it more obvious that you’re faking your reaction.

Tip #3: Lie

Lying is one of the hardest things to do on the spot, but if successful, it’s one of the most effective. Essentially, you come up with something you’d use the gift for— it doesn’t matter how minor this lie may be, so long as it’s realistic. For example, if you get an ugly Christmas sweater, even if you won’t wear it regularly, you can say that you’ll still wear it during a future Christmas. By lying, you go out of your way to describe something that you’d do with the gift, making the person who gave you the gift believe it will be put to use.  

Tip #4: Sound Genuine

This is one of the most important tips, and if it’s not executed correctly, it will be evident that your response isn’t genuine. You have to be confident when talking to the person who gave you the gift. You need to sound certain that it was something that you wanted, and that you’re grateful. One of the most important aspects of this is to avoid stuttering—it makes the reaction seem far more realistic. 

Tip #5: Avoid Looking Away 

When receiving a gift from a relative that you don’t like, your parents may know that you won’t like it, and you might look at them to signal this. Remember to react like you received a gift you’ve always wanted. Unless you’d normally look towards your parents, don’t look at them, as it draws suspicion. No matter who the gift is from, by either looking at them or the gift itself, it shows your appreciation— or so they think.

Since Christmas is a time for appreciation, it’s difficult to let someone know that you don’t appreciate their gift. However, if you’re able to master these techniques, then this won’t be an issue anymore. So as the holidays come nearer, your time is shorter, and if you fear that your relatives have a worthless gift ready to give you, you need to learn how to fake your reaction.