For the last few years, several of the women in my office have participated in a Secret Santa Gift Exchange. It's totally optional and is ran by fellow coworkers (usually me) so there is no pressure to participate. We don't have any real strict rules or anything, but we do set a price limit. Most of us have done this in the past and we put a lot of effort into our gift giving.
There were only 7 of us participating this year, and one was a newbie....though she has been invited in the past and just chosen not to join. At the final (and for most of us only) gift exchange, the newbie had my name. While what she got me was definitely on my things I like list and it was in the price range.....compared to what the others received, it was lacking. She hadn't even really bothered to wrap it. It's not that big of deal to me. I thanked her for everything, told her how much I liked the stuff, and even opened up the box of candles and passed them around for everyone to smell. While I didn't gush (not my style) I thought I showed the proper amount of appreciation.
The next day, I received an e-mail from her stating that she was leaving me the receipt for the items, since I obviously didn't like them. And that she must not be good at this Secret Santa thing, so she wasn't going to do it again. She also made a remark about maybe she should have wrapped it better.
I replied immediately, that I thought everything was great and I wasn't going to return anything...that most of the items I was already using. But now I'm feeling guilty, that I didn't show respond appropriately either to the initial gift or to the e-mail. There is another part of my that believes she felt guilty after seeing what everyone else gave and kind of laid on me to make her feel. I don't know what I should have done differently.