Regifting: What to do with Unwanted Seasonal Gifts

BreakingModern — As you move out of the craziness of the holiday season and back into your regular routine, you might be stymied by what do with some of the un-wished-for gifts you received this year. In particular, you might find yourself now the not-so-proud owner of a selection of seasonal items you don’t quite know how to handle. Here are a few ideas to help get them out of your daily life and off your mind.

Pack Them Up For Next Year

santa decoration regiftingFor the seasonal items you like but don’t feel are appropriate for everyday display, pack them up with your stockings and ornaments and save them for next year. Even if there are a few items that aren’t strictly decorations, people make all sorts of allowances for home décor during the holidays.

Regift Next Christmas

For the seasonal items that don’t make the cut to be added to your personal collection, set them aside to regift next year. To do this well, I suggest two things: add labels and set reminders. Label each item with who gave you the gift, then place the labeled items into a box and pack it away with your other Christmas items and decorations. Be sure to also create a reminder in your online To Do list or calendar for mid-November (or whenever you tend to start your holiday shopping) to remind you these gifts are ready and waiting for your regifting needs.

A few other regifting tips:

  1. Don’t regift in the same social circle. This way you can avoid an uncomfortable situation where the regifting becomes apparent.
  2. If in doubt, don’t do it. If you’re not sure who gave you the gift, or if you’re not sure the new recipient will enjoy it, don’t give it.
  3. Use new gift wrap. Be sure you fully unwrap the item then rewrap with new paper, bows or ribbons.
  4. Don’t regift if the person who gave it to you expects to see it in your home. I call this the “mother-in-law gift rule.” Even if it’s a particularly hideous item, if your mother-in-law gifted it to you and expects to see it on display, make sure you keep it. It’s not worth the family angst if she asks to see it and it’s no longer there.

Host a Mid-winter White Elephant Party

white elephant party regiftingThere seem to be dozens of parties in December but a serious lack of festive occasions once January rolls around. Pep up your winter and get rid of unwanted gifts at the same time by hosting a White Elephant or Yankee Swap party. Invite your friends to come over and bring an unwanted gift — by the end of the party some of the least-wanted original gifts become the most-coveted White Elephant gifts. You can find more details and game directions here.

Create a Spectacularly Ugly Christmas Sweater

If you find you emerged from the Christmas season with a large number of decorative items, consider using them to create your own ugly Christmas sweater. Each December there seems to be at least one occasion where I wish I owned one — if you create it now you’ll be ahead of the game for next year. Some hot glue and gaudy decorations and you’re ready to go.

ugly christmas sweater regifting

Hopefully most of your gifts were exactly what you wished for, but if not, these tips can help you out with the gifts that didn’t quite meet your expectations.

For BMod, I’m .

All screenshots:

Header image: Re-carded? doh” by goldstardeputy via Flickr Creative Commons

Becket Morgan

Author: Becket Morgan

Based in central Vermont, Becket Morgan covers apps and lifestyle tech for BreakingModern. Follow her at @becketmorgan on Twitter or +Becket Morgan on G+.

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