You’re bound to get one every year. If you’re lucky. A strange Christmas present that makes you pull the “Oh, wow! That’s so nice! What is it [no-genuinely-wtf-is-this]? Wow!” card. We’ve all been there. We know the face. We know the octave-higher tone.
In the moment, you let them know that you’re grateful for the gift – because you are. You’re not a monster. It’s nice of them to get you something at all. But in the back of your mind, you’re thinking: “jeez, what the hell am I supposed to do with this hideous bag / shocking fluorescent make-up kit / weirdly-scratchy shirt / this… thing?”
If it’s from your folks, you can gently let them know that you’ve already got one, or something very similar. And emphasise that you just can’t think of why or how you could use another one and how you don’t want it to go to waste. There will be a receipt within reach and a quick and painless return or swap that they can be a part of – so they still feel like they’re part of the gifting process.
But it’s not easy when it’s from a friend, or your grandparents (bless their socks). It takes extra time and effort to subtly remove those gifts from your life, especially if – god forbid – its something they’ve put a lot of time, effort, and money into.
Luckily though, the worst (but easiest) offenders are colleague Kris Kringles and in-law gifts. The kind of people who aren’t at your house every other weekend.
So how do you get rid of these unwanted gifts without the gifter catching on? We’ve got the solution for you.
If the store the gift is from is obvious, you can try your luck at swapping it for something you actually want. If you’re polite, most stores are pretty good at swapping things that were obviously gifts, even without a receipt. But don’t expect a refund, they’re the ones doing you a huge favour. Don’t get greedy. If there’s nothing you want, try looking for something you can gift to someone instead.
This is a high-risk high-reward tactic. You don’t want to return it to the original gifter, and you don’t want to gift it to a mutual friend (especially if it’s something unique), or to someone who will also hate it. Wines, books (check for inscriptions), kitchen appliances, cosmetic (unused, pls, don’t be gross). For the best results, ensure that the person you’re re-gifting the gift to will appreciate it in a way you just couldn’t.
Sell It Online
Another high-risk and high[er]-reward strategy. It demands subtly and patience. You might have to wait weeks or months before listing it online – because there’s nothing like the knife to the chest of seeing a gift you gave someone for sale a day after you gifted it. Dog act.
But, when you’ve passed the threshold, it’s time to get it out of the house. Be sure to include lots of photos, share all possible specifications and sell it at a fair price – nothing ridiculous, you’re making a little coin, but keep it realistic.
And, whatever you do, do NOT share it on your social media feeds. Steer clear of Facebook Marketplace – you don’t need the gifter to know you have no use for the heavy-based crock pot, except to possibly store instant noodles in it. (BTW, if you did get a crock pot, I will happily take it off your hands… just saying).
This one seems like a strange one, but it’s good for some gifts. At this time in your life, you may not need that crock pot, or that piece of jewellery just doesn’t suit your #aesthetic right now, or you find red wine gross. But don’t get rid of it now – unless it’s an ill-fitting outfit (or just hideous) – something can be said for hanging onto gifts you didn’t think you liked at first. This is especially important if its something special or thoughtful. Like a silver bracelet my grandmother bought me once. Unfortunately for her, I was at peak tomboy-tween-angst, so it sat in its box at the back of my wardrobe until I re-discovered it in a deep-clean out years later (far away from the cargo shorts and deep fringe). It became a ‘nice, going out’ bracelet then, and it’s something I never leave the house without now.
Sometimes you grow into a gift, and in the heat of unwrapping gifts it can be hard to forsee a future when you would ever need it. But these are especially rare gifts, and learning to notice them is a gift in itself.
Image Source: Forbes