Everyone has had the experience of opening up a perfectly–wrapped present to discover something that they don’t find appealing at all.
It is with this in mind that the Observer presents with you its guide for the ins and outs of dealing with unwanted gifts. There is always someone who will appreciate the gifts you would normally shove to the back of your closet or a way to choose a new gift that you prefer much more.
“Giving a gift to someone is a better option than keeping something you otherwise wouldn’t use,” freshman Camellia Fahimi said.
Giving someone else a gift that was originally intended for you, otherwise known as re-gifting, has its pros and cons. Re-gifting is a good option for gifts that have not been opened or used. You should only re-gift items that the recipient would actually enjoy and appreciate. Never re-gift something that you would not have originally picked out for the person.
“It’s a cheap and smart way of giving someone a gift,” junior Anng Dang said. “I re-gift all the time. I always pick things that seem right for the person. Otherwise, it’s not genuine.”
Should you choose to re-gift a present, it is crucial that any labels or cards are removed from the item. Nobody wants to be stuck in a situation where the recipient is fully aware that the item was re-gifted. To make your present appear brand new, it is best to take extra time to re-wrap the gift with fresh paper and add a personalized card. Remember: no bad re-gift goes unpunished.
“I think as long as the gifter is not offended or does not know, it is fine to re-gift or donate a gift,” junior Sam Myers said. “It’s yours, after all.”
Another option to consider is returning your unwanted gifts in exchange for store credit. Although each store’s policies concerning gift returns are different, many will require a gift receipt and, with that, will only offer store credit. It is also best to make your return after the holiday shopping craze has died down, when salespeople are more likely to cut you a break.
“Target is a store where people shop for the holidays because there is so much variety as far as gifts go,” said the executive team leader of the Rockville Pike Target location. “Target’s return policy is 30 days with the receipt. Without a receipt, we can exchange the item for a gift card to Target.”
If the gifter did not provide a gift receipt, or if that store has particularly strict rules surrounding gift returns, you can sell your unwanted items on websites like eBay and Craigslist. If the store supplies you with credit via a gift card, online services like Card Hub allow you to sell the gift cards in exchange for PayPal credit that can be used anywhere.
Some students believe that selling unwanted gifts is not morally sound because, in doing so, you are taking advantage of the giftee for your own gain.
“Gift giving is supposed to be about sharing kindness, not about the greed of who can make the most money during the holiday season,” Myers said.
For those against re-gifting or selling, donating is another way to rid yourself of unwanted gifts while also helping those in need. The Holiday Giving Project of Montgomery County, which is coordinated by A Wider Circle, distributes donated gifts and food to low-income families in the area.
“The Holiday Giving Project is a coordinated countywide effort to help families in need to celebrate the holidays,” project coordinator Susan Klavon said. “It was established over 30 years ago and is still going strong today.”
Although the families appreciate any and all donations, some good options include books, board games, sports equipment and gift cards for teenagers. You can also become a “Holiday Giving Provider” by collecting donations via your club or congregation and then hosting an event where the families pick up the gifts.
“A lot of people will donate toys for children 12 and under,” Klavon said. “For teenagers, we try to suggest donations of gift cards so that the teens can go out and get the gifts they like.”
CHS students who love to give back to those who are less fortunate, especially during the holiday season, feel that it is better to donate unwanted items to those who will put them to use.
“People can donate practically anything except perishables or food because there are always people who do not have as comfortable a life as many of us at Churchill have,” Myers said.