The moment you open that beautifully packaged gift and realize, urgh. You don't want it!
Apart from the disappointment of not loving your present - you now have to find something to do with it. Fear not! I have some ideas for you!
Before we get to dealing with the unwanted gifts I just wanted to look at a few things NOT to do.
I am sure I don't have to tell you to receive graciously and not start complaining and whining. That is a sure way to never get gifted anything again. It isn't always the gifters fault. I gave my nephew an iTunes gift voucher every Christmas for YEARS before I realized that he didn't have an iPhone! Oops! Ok. Maybe it is the gifter's fault. But be gracious anyway.
And then there are these faux pas too:
Which brings us to... the actually handling of it :)
If you know the person well enough to ask for details, or they have been considerate enough to attach a receipt, then returning the item is a no brainer. Most stores extend their return period over the holidays (if you can figure out where it came from). Whether they will take it without a receipt is debatable - but it is worth asking!
Amazon have a return policy for gifts - you can return it even if you didn't buy it BUT you still need to know the order number. So no discreet returns! Here is Amazon's policy:
If the unwanted gift IS an Amazon gift card then keep reading for ideas for what to do with it!
Somebody, somewhere, would have loved to have received that gift! Really, I know! But it is true.
Take a good look and see if you know exactly who would appreciate it. Then all you need to do is rewrap and gift!
My Mam has a 'bottom drawer' where she keeps gifts that can be re-gifted. If it has got potential then hang onto it. It might be the perfect Secret Santa, Stocking Filler or Gift Exchange item.
Don't store it away somewhere hidden - it is too easy to forget about it. Make a specific place where you keep giftable items so they are always there to inspire you.
A trip to the thrift store/charity shop might be in order.
But let's get imaginative. How about donating for a Raffle, or Tombola stall? A worthy cause might be just the place for your present.
The first time I ever won anything in a raffle it was a Leek (yes, the vegetable kind!). But Local fund raisers are usually very happy to have your valuable gift (except perhaps vegetable ones). Try the local school, sports club or toddler group. They are all usually grateful for a raffle donation. If you know they will ask you for a prize donation for their summer fete then just tuck your gift away until then.
If your gift is a book then you can 'release it into the wild' via BookCrossing. I LOVE doing this. Just register your book for free, add a label, and then release it into the wild (leave it somewhere!) for a stranger to enjoy. Alternatively, public libraries will often accept book donations
If your gift is quite small then there is no reason to not release it in the same way as a Random Act of Kindness. Wrap it well and leave a small note saying it is gifted to the finder. Gifts vouchers/cards are perfect for this. My favorite place to leave these are in the pocket of a coat in the thrift store.
Turn your gift into some cash so you can buy something else you actually like. There are plenty of places to sell unwanted items. Think ebay, gumtree, craigslist.
You've got this!
This is a fun way of dealing with unwanted gifts. Get imaginative and turn it into something else. If it is clothing you can re-fashion it. Most items can be upcycled. Or just use it for a completely different purpose.
Here are some ideas to get you started-
For upcyling items, Youtube is your friend. There are hundreds of videos. I could recommend one but I don't want to spoil your fun!
Are all your friends moaning about unwanted presents too? Hold a swop party. Add this idea as a twist to your annual New Year's Eve bash (but only if the gift giving relative won't be there!)
So you have been through the options above and still are in possession of the gift?
It is time to bin it. Harsh, I know. But do you really want it hanging around your psyche - or your home? You will feel so much lighter without its presence weighing you down. Just let it go. This habit will make a huge difference to your decluttering efforts.
Take a deep breath and head for the nearest trash can!