I married into a large, generous family who love to shower us with gifts. Whether it’s for a birthday, anniversary, holiday or hostess gift, they never come over empty-handed. I don’t want to sound ungrateful, but frankly I have no use for most of these things, and my cupboards are full of items I’ll never use. I’ve even started a file where I keep all the gift cards. Between Chanukah and Christmas, we’ll receive a whole new slew of items. I accept each one with a smile and a thank-you, but what am I going to do with all this stuff?
Bursting with Gifts
Dear Bursting with Gifts,
Many people love to give. It’s a chance to make someone feel special. Watching the reaction as a recipient opens a gift is fun and makes us feel good. However, most people have a hard time finding just the right gift, hence the tall carousels and walls of gift cards in many stores.
Re-gifting is an option. Many people have mixed feelings about re-gifting. After all, someone who cares about you put thought into buying this gift.
The fact is, most people today re-gift. It’s even considered “green”– recycle, reuse, re-gift. It’s acceptable, as long as you apply a few rules.
Know who the gift came from so you don’t re-gift within the same circle of people. If you’re not sure, do not re-gift that item.
Never re-gift something used or old.
Wrap the item with fresh paper or a gift bag, and add your own card.
Donation is also an option. If you have gifts in original packaging, you can donate them to Jewish Family & Child, shelters, fire halls, retirement homes, hospitals, etc. Make sure you’re dropping off appropriate items at the various places by looking them up and calling first to check what they accept.
What about all those gift cards? You can put them to good use, too. There’s a company called cardswap.ca that gives you the option to redeem all those unused gift cards.
Turn those dollars on your gift cards into charitable donations. Email email@example.com for details.
With a little organization, effort and thought, you can put those gifts to good use and empty your cupboards at the same time.
It’s that time of year again when I spend my hard-earned money buying presents for my nieces and nephews whose houses are already packed with toys. They have so much already, they don’t appreciate anything I give. I’m sure my gift will get opened and then never looked at again. As for the adults, what do you buy someone who has absolutely everything? I hate shopping and would love to get together without this added stress, but I don’t want to sound cheap.
What to Buy This Year
Dear What to Buy This Year,
All the work and preparation that goes into the holidays is for the final result. Families get together for Chanukah, eat latkes, light candles and, yes, give gifts – it’s all part of the holiday.
Gift giving is usually for the kids more than the adults, but many families do gift exchanges for adults as well, especially if there is someone in the group who celebrates Christmas at the same time.
No matter how many gifts a child has, they love the surprise of opening another one. Will they ever play with the toy you got them more than once? Probably not. It’s up to the parent to put away many of the toys and bring them out one at a time when the child is not overwhelmed and can appreciate it. Sometimes, kids get so much that parents don’t get to the unopened gifts, in which case that toy can be donated.
For the adult that has everything, why not give a gift that can be paid forward? You can purchase a gift card from
Canadahelps.org, then personalize it, print it, and the recipient can use it to donate to any cause close to their heart. It’s a win-win for the giver, recipient and charity with the added bonus of a tax receipt.