Christmas is a time for giving and receiving but sometimes it isn’t quite right.  Some families have reduced a lot of their present buying, especially as children get older and experiences or money becomes more popular. There are still people who are bad at choosing presents, and others who are fussy or don’t need what they receive. So what can we do with those unwanted Christmas gifts?

I’ve had many an unwanted present over the years, mostly when I was a child (family members having no idea what to buy me obviously). The worst I remember being a really ‘cutesy’ character nightdress (probably not what I’d have worn age 6, let alone age 11!), and an incorrectly sized, hideous pale blue crochet dress.  Definitely not my taste. 

As an adult, Thorntons or Lindt Lindor chocolate seemed to be popular (I’m a Cadbury chocolate girl), or pretty toiletries (floral types of things like body cream which I’ll never use). And of course jewellery (rarely wear it), woolly gloves and scarves (get too hot to wear these), candles (not my thing), hideous velvet photo frames.  There’s a lot of things I’m not a fan of so I have had a lot of dud gifts over the years.  I’d rather people save their money or just buy me a book token.

what to do with unwanted gifts

If you end up with an unwanted gift there’s plenty of things you can do with them rather than hiding them in the bottom of the wardrobe or throwing them away. 

Ideas for what to do with unwanted gifts

1, Regift them

Just watch out for who you’re regifting to – avoid the same family or set of friends.  Be really organised and keep a record of who gives/receives what to avoid passing it on to someone who gave the gift to you.

2, Donate it

Charity shops will take most items.  If it’s long life food or toiletries try a local food bank.  For those plus clothing or even furniture, try homeless shelters or refuges.  Toys and children’s clothes or books – offer it to local nurseries or schools.  Alternatively give it away on Freecycle.

3, Sell it

Car boot sales or garage sales are great if you can make the time to do them, and can be a lot of fun.  For longer term more gradual selling options, try selling online.  Facebook local market places can be good (although people want to pay virtually nothing), Gumtree, Ebay or Preloved are others to try. People will even buy giftcards, although don’t expect to get back the full face value.

4, Upcycling it into something else

If you’re crafty or good at building things, why not try upcycling.  If you get jewellery but don’t like the setting, see if you can get it made into something else. If it’s clothing, use the material for something else – make cushions, patchwork blankets, or add embellishments and restyle into another item.

5,  Swap it

Get friends round (watch outs similar to regifting!) and all bring unwanted gifts or other items, and have a swishing party.  Anything leftover either take home or give to charity.

6, Do something good for charity

If you’ve got a few items (good for school PTA fundraising), group up themed items to make into hampers and either give to a local charity to auction or raffle off, or to a school.

Let me know what you do with your unwanted gifts?

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