One thing is for sure this holiday season: you will receive at least one gift you don’t really like. Maybe a t-shirt you’ll never wear, a book you’ll never read, or a bottle of perfume better suited for Aunt Edna. We politely thank the giver and slyly look for a receipt tucked away in the box. If you’re given a gift you’re more than happy to part with this holiday, here are some useful suggestions for making the best of an ugly sweater situation.
- Return it. If your gift came with a receipt, you’re in luck! You should have no problem returning it for something that better suits you. And even without a receipt, if you know where it was purchased, you can still try to take it back for store credit.
- Donate it. One person’s trash indeed may be another’s treasure. There are a lot of agencies who would be happy to take your unwanted gifts off your hands, whether to sell in their non-profit thrift stores or to use for the homeless or less fortunate.
- Sell it. Have you noticed all the new apps popping up that offer you the chance to make a few extra dollars by selling your unwanted items? Letgo and Offerup are two that have recently become popular. Letgo seems to be the more popular of the two, but that could depend largely on where you live. Craigslist has been around for a long time and is also really popular. If you want to list from your phone, though, you’ll have to download a third-party app. Craigslist doesn't have its own app, but CPlus (for Craigslist) is the most popular of those.
- Regift it. Most of the items we receive for Christmas come in brand new condition, so there’s no shame in rewrapping it and giving it to someone else.
- Swap it. Organize a post-Christmas party with your friends and swap your unwanted gifts for someone else’s. There’s a Meetup group I read about that organized a huge party and had over 50 women show up with their unwanted scarves, candles, oven mitts, and bath products. Everyone went home happy.
- Keep it. If you’re nervous about getting rid of the salt and pepper shakers your sister-in-law gave you in the event she later asks about them, it’s okay to put them away in a drawer until her next visit. Sometimes you just have to think of the giver and allow them the joy of seeing you use their gift. Unless it’s a fruitcake. I’m convinced the late comedian Johnny Carson was right when he said, “The worst gift is a fruitcake. There is only one fruitcake in the entire world, and people keep sending it to each other.”
What do you plan on doing with your new ugly sweater?
For more great ideas surrounding the holidays and how to enjoy yourself while being eco-conscious, also check out these blogs:
- 6 Eco-Friendly Gift Ideas for the Holidays
- 11 Zero-Waste Holiday Season Ideas
- How To Create Less Waste Over the Holidays
- 5 Eco-Friendly Holiday Tree Ideas