Thursday, December 26, 2013

Oh, The Dilemma Of The Unwanted Gift! 6 Suggestions For What To Do With It

Did you receive a holiday gift that you didn't like or have no use for? I did and while I'm thankful that someone thought enough of me to even get a present, the question remains: what do I do with the item? Too many of us do nothing, which leads to clutter. So I now present six suggestions on what to do with unwanted gifts:
  1. Give the gift a chance for a day or so. I once received a gift of chocolate-covered potato chips. My first reaction was“Yuck!”but after trying a few, I realized that they weren't half bad. Similarly, you could just give the gift a little time (no more than a day or two, however), to see if the gift grows on you.
  2. Re-purpose the item. Who says you have to wear that hideous shirt in public? Could you wear it as pajamas? The bowl that says, “Eat Me” might make a nice planter for herbs. That mug that says, “Happy Festivus!” can be repainted and used to hold pencils. Think outside the box or check Pinterest for ideas on re-using your unwanted gift.
  3. Re-gift the it. Just make sure it's to someone so far from the giver's circle of acquaintance's that they'll never know. I don't think there's anything wrong with it as long as the gift is new. I once received a re-gift of lovely wine glasses that I know were meant for someone who had just broken her December engagement. Was I upset? Nope. The glasses were expensive and lovely and I still use them all the time. It was kind of the giver to think of me.
  4. Donate the item. Wait! Before you think of the usual worthy charities (check out Charity Navigator at for a list near you), think outside the box. Sometimes local libraries will accept donations of board games for their Children's Section. Nursing homes may accept framed artwork or toiletries for their residents. A hospital may accept certain toys for a Pediatric Ward. Of course, call ahead to see if your items will be welcome.
  5. Turn your unwanted gift cards into cash. This excellent article on ( explains how to get the most out of gift cards for stores you don't necessarily shop in.
  6. Give safe items to the kids. Children love to play dress-up and that ugly tie or kitschy apron might be just what your little one “needs” to complete a pretend outfit. That scarf you'll never wear might make a nice belt for a budding fashionista. And the foot bath you'll never use, with the wires safely cut off and taped, would make a lovely pool for Barbie.

What do you do with unwanted gifts? Comment below! I'd love to hear!


Thinking ahead to the next holiday (and despite the latest decorations in the store on Christmas Eve, it is NOT Valentine's Day), my son is planning to have a New Year's Eve Sleepover. He and I have been generating some great ideas to make the night extra-special, so please come back and I'll share them with you.

Thank you for reading!

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