Whether the gift is something you already have or something you would never buy in a million years, you have a decision to make. What can you do to escape the kindness of others without filling your home with things you don’t want or need? Here are a few options.
Return it. Most stores will provide gift receipts if you ask. You may want to mention this casually to those family members and friends who purchase doubtful things on a regular basis. You can talk about how you always get gift receipts for anything you buy in case something doesn’t fit or doesn’t work. Even without receipts, most stores will accept returns for a week or so after the holidays. Practice the words, “Oh, what a lovely gift. Wherever did you find it?”
Re-gift it. The big cotton cardigan in the exact shade of green to make you look jaundiced may be perfect for your red-headed aunt. If it doesn’t suit you, that doesn’t mean that it won’t work well for someone you know. Think about it.
Schedule an exchange party. Get a handful of like-minded friends who have well-meaning givers in their lives and engage in a trade. You may already have a waffle iron or popcorn popper, but someone else could use it, while that curling iron is just the thing for you.
Just keep it. If you have the closet space, sometimes the kindest thing is to keep it so it can be on display for visits. If you have a guest room, that’s the perfect place for those items that aren’t really to your taste. After all, how often do you walk in that room?
Agree to stop exchanging gifts. There are times when the best gift is no gift at all. You could buy each other lunch or dinner or treat each other to a movie. And you never know, maybe your friend or family member cringes every time he or she opens one of your gifts too!