In my writing I’m looking for an alternative way to say that something is a “mixed blessing”. The word “blessing” seems to carry a religious connotation.
I’m seeking to convey to the reader that a specific thing that has happened has both positives and negatives for this character.
“Getting invited to the party was a mixed blessing for Charlie. Sure, he was hoping to be invited, but this now meant that he was expected to bring a gift for a person who is impossible to shop for.”
I don’t think that most people would think of it as more than just a regular saying, but if you really do want to avoid the word blessing, there are a few other expressions you might use. Some would require rephrasing your passage.
- was of mixed utility / sent mixed messages
- had its pros and cons
- was good news and bad news
- was a double-edged sword (This might connote violence.)
- was bittersweet (This might not be used in all the same contexts.)
In terms of the thinking of a person, you could also say that they were of two minds.