Christmas is one of those magical times of the year, where we get to spend time with our loved ones, eat lots of food and to a lesser extent, gifts are bestowed upon us.
In this article, we are going to offer some advice about what to do with all those Christmas presents that we just don’t need. We will offer 6 tips for dealing with unwanted gifts and also what to do, to avoid them in the future.
You know the ones. They get gifted to us and usually end up left in the original box and shoved at the back of the cupboard.
We understand that it is not a reflection on the person who has gifted you the item, but more about the practicality and timing of it. We sometimes just do not need unnecessary clutter in our lives and we need to find an ethical and responsible way of dealing with any unwanted gifts.
6 ways to deal with those excess and unwanted gifts.
There is no harm in re-gifting an item that we simply not needed. For example, if your child receives the same toy, that they already own, then why not gift it to another child for a birthday present? This is a sustainable way of dealing with gifts as it means it can be given to someone less fortunate and is used as intended.
Donate to Charity or the Less Fortunate.
There are lots of charities that will make use of your unwanted gift and ensure it ends up in the hands of the less fortunate. We need to remember that there are a lot of people who do not get to celebrate a traditional Christmas like the rest of us. In fact, in Australia in 2016, it is reported that there was over 116,000 who were classified as homeless. Statistic from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare are found here.
You could consider donating to an organisation like the Smith Family or Save the Children.
Donate to Op Shop
We speak regularly about the benefits of using op shops. Donating to these organisations, helps them maintain funds to complete vital humanitarian work throughout not only our own, but under privileged countries. Not only this, but it will also help unnecessary waste from entering our landfills by joining a circular economy.
Continue to Sit Away Until Needed or Share with friends and Family.
You never know! Time can do all sorts of strange things. This includes the fact that we may need these items in the future. Take for instance that in Australia, Christmas falls in Summer. A popular gift for Christmas is barbeque utensils. Now we already have a great set, so we have shared a gifted set with our sister and brother in law. They know that it is intended as a share option (although we might just let them keep them), so when the time is right, we will get them back.
Gifts are intended as a thoughtful gesture, so when an item is not needed, there should be no harm in selling it. This will allow you funds to spend on an item that is truly needed. We’ll leave the question of whether or not to advise the gift giver of your intentions.
Ideally if you have the receipt get cash. If this is not an option then ask for an instore credit that can be used at your convenience or purchase something you need.
There are additional questions and actions that can be raised in conjunction with this topic. Like how to avoid these kinds of gifts in the future? Below are some ideas that you can action, to ensure that next Christmas isn’t a repeat, with gifts that are not needed.
How to avoid these gifts in the future.
Let your intentions be known:
Honesty is the best option. If you know that someone is intending to get you a gift, then let them know of something you may need. Don’t be greedy or selfish, be frugal in your request. Aim for something practical and sustainable, like a set of our lifetime warranty stainless-steel pegs.
Request a gift card:
This seems to be an old faithful. We all know that gift cards and cash are generally given, so you have the freedom of purchasing something you would like. There is no harm in asking for this as an option.
Ask to purchase your gifts ethically and sustainably:
By using sites like ibuyonce.com or etiko.com who have great ranges of ethical and sustainable products available. Alternatively, you could also explore the option of making your gifts. This is a great and thoughtful idea. This year we used old tee shirts to make re-usable bags for our family. We also used old fabrics to make into napkins (rather than using disposable paper towel). Remember practicality is the key and it will also set a precedent for the kind of gifts you like. This may take 2-3 years to go full circle and for others to get an understanding, but it is well worth it!
Ask for a gift for our ecosystems and the creatures that rely on them. You can get them from as little as A10c per tree. Check out this great organisations who plant tree’s all over the world and recently accomplished the feat of planting 20 million trees…TeamTrees
Ask for nothing
Sometimes nothing is best. All we want for Christmas is to spend time with the ones we love. It doesn’t always happen, but it can always be offered with best intentions.
These options are nothing extravagant. It is sometimes the simplest things that can make the biggest differences. The point of this article is not to highlight the ungrateful nature of someone who receives a gift that they do not need. It is more the fact that there is sustainable and ethical options for dealing with these gifts and also setting a precedent about what is your ideal to receive.
We know that there will be a lot of you who are still in this current situation and we encourage you to utilise these options. Alternatively, please share your feedback on other ways to deal with these gifts.