Six Things to do with Your Unwanted Christmas Gifts


So you got a woolly jumper emblazoned with a reindeer from Granny Doris. Or even worse, a packet of three sponges from the pound shop, a pair of earrings that had previously been worn and stretch mark cream. Then, to top it off, a diary that was three years out of date with a 69p sticker still stuck on it.

Receiving unwanted Christmas gifts doesn’t make us scrooges though – in typical British fashion, we’re far too polite to tell our big-hearted benefactors we’re unhappy with their choice. Only one in ten will ever tell the gift giver their true feelings.

Luckily for you, here are six things you can do if you received a gift you didn’t want this Christmas:

Return or exchange it. By and large, people tend to include a gift receipt as they’re aware of the fact they may not pick out the right pressie. That’s good news. The receiver can simply take it back to the shop and exchange it for something they want. Job done.

Re-gift it pronto. If someone’s birthday’s coming up, and that unwanted present’s still sitting at the back of your wardrobe, then don’t hesitate to re-gift the item to that someone. So give the nose clippers to your dad if it’s his birthday and the gym membership to your brother or sister – if you think they’ll appreciate them, that is. Smiley face.

Give it away. If you’re uncomfortable with the whole ‘re-gifting’ thing and feel awkward about pretending you’ve purchased an item for someone when you haven’t, that’s okay. You don’t have to give your unwanted item as a gift. Forget wrapping it and just give it to someone you know would appreciate it. Drop it off to them and just tell them the truth – that you got it from someone else and didn’t want it but thought that it’d be great for them.

Sell it. Make yourself some cash, if you think your unwanted gift is ‘sellable’. You never know, you might make plenty of bang for your buck. Sell clothing online or to local used clothing shops, especially if it’s brand new. Equally, video games, kitchen accessories and electronics are all great things for resale.

Swap it. Swapping items is becoming a phenomenon. Numerous shops, locally and online, will let you swap books, clothes and kiddies’ toys. It’s a great way to turn an item you’ve received but don’t want into something you want without spending the extra cash.

Give it to charity. Can’t sell it? Trade your gifts for karma points by giving them to a good cause. Charity shops are only too happy to receive items they can sell that haven’t been through a washing machine hundreds of times already. What’s more, they also accept more than just bad frocks and paisley ties. Electrical goods, CDs, board games and books are also go-ers. You could also step up your game and find a local hospice, homeless shelter, children’s home or school who may appreciate a donation.