Q: When writing my thank-you notes, what do I say about the hideous vase my aunt gave me?

A: First express your thanks, describe what you like about the item, perhaps mention how or where in your home you intend to use it. This becomes harder when you don't like the item. In this case, don't gush that it's the most beautiful vase you've ever seen if it isn't. Instead, express appreciation for their thoughtfulness. You could also talk about how nice it was or will be to see them at the wedding (or other event). And your thank-you note isn't the place to mention you intend to exchange a gift. Thank for the gift, and leave it at that. —Anna Post, The Emily Post Institute

See all questions about wedding invitations and stationery etiquette

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