Five Things to Do with Unwanted Christmas Gifts

Christmas is the season of perpetual hope, and habitually bad gift-giving. If you receive a not-so-fabulous gift, sure, you can pretend to be delighted and gracious in front of the person who gifted it to you; however, a dilemma arises when you return home. What are you supposed to do with the gift now? If you are in a holiday pickle, and don’t know what to do with your unwanted Christmas gifts, try these ideas for five things to do with those pesky presents.

1. Return or Exchange Them

This is the most obvious solution to an unwanted gift problem. If you receive a present over the holidays that isn’t exactly what you wanted, take it to the store and exchange it. Many stores will allow you to exchange gifts without a receipt as long as you purchase something else from the store. If the gift was given by a friend or family member who is particularly close to you, sometimes the gift-giver will enclose the receipt, so that you can exchange it discretely. It isn’t likely that all stores will allow you to return a gift for cash, however, you may be able to return your unwanted gift for a gift card from the same store where the item was purchased.

2. Regift Them

Another easy way to manage unwanted Christmas gifts is to regift them to someone else. Keep the following rules in mind when regifting:

  • DO NOT regift to the same person who bought you the present. If necessary, place a sticky note on the gift to remind you of who bought it for you. This will keep you from making an embarrassing mistake. Just remember to take the note off before you regift.
  • Only regift if you actually believe that the recipient will enjoy the present that you are regifting.
  • Avoid regifting personal items like monogrammed gifts, bath soap, and the ever-popular Christmas fruitcake.

3. Donate Them

Just because an orange and green argyle sweater isn’t your taste, doesn’t mean that it isn’t someone else’s. If you cannot return an item, and you don’t have anyone on your list who would enjoy the regift, then donate the item to a local charity or store, like the Goodwill or Salvation Army. You can donate practically any item from clothing to jewelry, and dishes to household accessories.

4. Tweak Them

Another option for unwanted Christmas gifts is to tweak them a bit and transform them into something else. Some of the most common unwanted Christmas gifts are clothing items. You can take the particularly hideous apparel and turn it into bedding for your pet, or you can keep the items around until Halloween and work them into your costume. If you receive a gift like a hideous framed art print, pop the print out of the frame and use the frame for your latest family portrait. You can do the reverse if the print is great, but the frame doesn’t really go with your decor.

5. Hide Them

There are times when you receive gifts that you cannot return, gifts that no one else would ever want, gifts that you would feel guilty for donating, and gifts for which you can find no other clever use. When this happens, there is only one thing left to do with your unwanted Christmas gifts…hide them. Put them in the back of a cabinet, hide them in a basement or attic, or tuck them away in the bottom of your sock drawer. Remember to keep unwanted Christmas gifts in a relatively accessible place, because let’s face it, when Aunt Millie comes over for a visit, she will want to admire her handmade toilet paper cozies.

If you receive an unwanted Christmas gifts, don’t fret. Remember that you can always return or exchange them, regift them, donate them, tweak them, or if all else fails…hide them!


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