What to Do With Gifts You Receive That You Don’t Want or Have No Use For

The holiday season is a time for giving and receiving gifts, which is a wonderful thing. That doesn’t mean everything is peachy 100 percent of the time, though, as gift-giving can also be a minefield of social etiquette. For example, what do you do when you receive a gift you don’t really need, or worse, don’t want at all? There’s no clear-cut solution, but there are a few guidelines that will make this awkward exchange a little more bearable for both parties.

Be Honest About Your Feelings

While your reaction to the ill-fitting gift will depend on your relation to the gift-giver, honesty is usually the best policy. Of course, it’s all in the way you express your honesty. Imagine yourself in the shoes of the gift-giver and think about how you’d want someone to explain why they aren’t fond of the gift you gave them. One of the best ways to explain your feelings is to acknowledge your appreciation for their sentiment and then respectfully give your reason for why the gift won’t work. As they say, it’s the thought that counts, and by showing the gift-giver that you recognize the thought they put into their gift, you can sidestep most of the potential hurt feelings that come with the situation.

Return It or Sell It

In many cases, if you and your gift-giver are on the same page, they’ll probably be OK with you returning the gift for something more suited to your taste. Hopefully they held onto the receipt when they bought the gift! If, for some reason, you can’t return the gift, you might be able to get away with selling it. Now, you’ll want to be careful if you don’t choose to be upfront with the gift-giver about selling the gift. If they ask about it a little later on, you can’t exactly get away with telling them you sold it. Again, this is why it’s a good idea to be honest in the first place.

Regift It

If selling the gift without the gift-giver’s knowledge is a bit of a moral grey area, regifting it is definitely a black area. It’s a tactic that has even been made fun of on popular TV shows like “Seinfeld.” One could argue that what the gift-giver doesn’t know doesn’t hurt them, so if you have no problem with this, simply repackage the gift and give it to someone else – preferably someone who has a better need for the gift (and one who doesn’t know the original gift-giver).

Give to Someone in Need

Donating your gift, while similar to regifting, is a bit more noble, and it’s a sure way to have the present put to good use. There are plenty of ways you could go about connecting with someone in need. Your best bet might be to get in touch with local charities and shelters and see if they have any need for whatever you’re trying to get rid of. Alternatively, you could create a post online asking if anyone is especially in need of your present. Donating your unused gift is something that the original gift-giver is more than likely willing to get behind.

These are nearly all your options for when your receive an unwanted gift, but there’s at least one other option: you could instead try being more open-minded and willing to make the present work. At worst, you can try one of the above options if it doesn’t work out, and at best, it could be an opportunity to introduce something new into your life that you wouldn’t have tried otherwise!

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