BG: This happened last Christmas and while the situation is over, I randomly think of it and the situation bothers me again. I thought of it earlier today and was wondering about alternate ways to handle it.
At the time I was still relatively close to my grade school best friend's family in the sense that we saw each other at church, social events and would get together with various members of his extended family for meals every couple of months. We also had an "open door" policy with each other as they would drop in for visits and my dd and I were invited to drop by their house at any time. My friendship with their son "Mark", had cooled off over the years. He was/is currently living in another state.
Last Christmas, dd and I were invited over for a small family/close friends party and gift exchange as Mark was home for the holidays. When it came time to open gifts, dd and Mark's niece (the only other child) both received their gift(s). It was after dd had opened her gift and had thanked his parents that Mark (who had been drinking) approached me and told me that dd hadn't been supposed to receive the CD (or presumably any present) and I would need to take it away / make her give it to his niece.
The only issue with that was that Mark's Dad was the one that was handing out the presents. The present was from his parents and had dd's name on it. Niece had received an identical gift, but had already set it aside and was opening her other presents. I pointed all of this out.
Mark was insistent that I was wrong and that dd and I were NOT to receive gifts because we weren't his family. I stated that six of the other guests weren't related to him either, but that we were all exchanging and receiving presents.
I told him:
1. If he had an issue with dd receiving her gift that he needed to talk to his parents because they were the givers.
2. I would not be taking it out of her hands to give to his niece.
3. If his parents said that there was a mistake and it did belong to niece, my preferred method was to wait until dd was distracted by something else and then give the present to niece.
Mark's solution was to walk over to dd and snatch the CD from her, tell her it wasn't hers and proceed to give it to his niece. Dd started crying. Mark's Dad/Mom started yelling at him for upsetting everyone. Niece told everyone that she already had that present and didn't want it. I just did my best to comfort dd and return her gift to her and never really did say anything to Mark (which I regret). We did stay for a bit longer as dd and Niece were playing, but left sooner than planned. I admit that I still have a bad taste in my mouth due to the incident and have drastically cooled things off with the entire family as a result of other behavior from Mark. I also feel guilty for not really standing up for my daughter.
I highly doubt that the situation presents itself again, but what would be the best action in the future?