21 December 2017

WTF gifts? Do I re-gift, exchange or tell them I hate it?

| Rachel Moore
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Have a merry ‘gift-mas’ with these fresh solutions for the dreaded bad-gift-scenario.

We’ve started the countdown – only 1 day more to Christmas! Here’s our comprehensive guide on dealing with Christmas in the territory.

WTF gifts? Do I regift, exchange or tell them I hate it?

One of the most difficult things at Christmas time can be 1) choosing a gift, and 2) receiving a gift. So what do you do if that gift is less than ideal? Well, here’s a few ideas to help you.

We have all been there. Circa the 25th of December any year and we are at our parents/mates/partners/in-laws place and someone hands you a beautifully wrapped gift. Straight away you start to project your ideals onto that candy-cane-covered mystery box and fantasise about a new technology gadget you have been wanting. You can’t wait to rip the paper to see your new toy inside.

But… it’s a pair of socks. You are super disappointed. You fake smile and hug the person, tell them how much you love the gift. In your mind, you are already tossing them into the bag to donate to Vinnies or wondering if you can re-gift them to Auntie Betty on the other side of the family.

Well, just from my perspective, you suck. The whole idea behind Christmas is to spend it with your loved ones.

Please don’t get me wrong. I am no Saint; I have re-gifted, and I am far too polite and a poster child of good manners to ask for the receipt or request to exchange it – aren’t we all? Well, I thought I was until the laundry incident of 2013 – an incident burnt in my mind forever.

My darling mother was helping me organise my house. Mum offered to clean out my laundry and laundry cupboard. I was so stoked – until, Mum found the bag…….

Attempting to buy me clothes is one dangerous expedition few dare attempt. I am particular and random; I admit – I am the worst person to shop for when it comes to clothes.

So, what was in the bag? 5 years’ worth of clothing Christmas gifts from my Mum. All shoved in that bag – tags on, never worn. My excuse? Not my style.

When I finally looked at Mum, the emotion of anger didn’t spread across her face – sadness, devastation, and disappointment filled the room. We never spoke about it until last year, neither of us had the words.

You could say it was my fault for not throwing the clothes away but that is not the point. I hurt her and my expectations were unfair. Mum and I are just fine now – for my birthday this year my parents gave some beautiful clothes – Mum and I went and got them together.

Here are 5 ideas about gifts that might make you rethink your usual unwanted-gift-routine:

GIVIT – literally

Here’s your chance to regift an item you aren’t particularly fond of to someone who needs it. GIVIT is an awesome not-for-profit that connects you with people and charities that will find a lot of use for your unwanted Christmas presents. So, if you find yourself with one-too-many Christmas hampers this season, hop onto the GIVIT website and donate it to a family that’s doing it tough. You’re not wasting anyone’s money, hurting anyone’s feelings, and you get to help spread the Christmas cheer ­– it doesn’t get any better than that now, does it?

Watch your expectations

Perhaps you might need to rethink your expectations about what it is you think you “deserve”? Consider the other person’s financial situation as well and question if your expectations are unrealistic.

Ask for no gifts

If you are just going to regift it anyways – why not make it clear you are not going to give gifts? Don’t be a Christmas Grinch though. Grab a box of chocolate, a bottle of wine or even a nice wheel of cheese. No one returns cheese. Unless you’re lactose intolerant – but you can’t please everyone.

Make your gifts

Pretty hard to reject a handmade, custom gift. About 8-9 years ago, my hubby and I decided to collectively save Christmas present money for bigger items like holidays and house splurges. Since then, we make each other Christmas gifts.

Like I said – I am no saint – last year I was really sick and “made” my husband a second hand Play Station from that recycled gaming store. Hubby got my old bedhead from my parents’ house, cut it into squares and painted me some very beautiful pictures. I know, I know – I’m a jerk.

If in doubt – write your thoughts on a card. Words can’t be re-gifted at least.

Ask for the receipt

DJ – please cue Cher’s “If I could turn back time”. I wish I had just been honest with my Mum and told her I didn’t like the clothes. She would not have minded. Why do you give someone a gift in the first place? You love them, care about them and want to bring them joy.

Just be gentle if you do and explain why you don’t want or like something. Be prepared for anything – don’t ask me how it will go? I’m clearly not the person to ask!

Don’t worry about Mum and me – we make up for lost “gifting” time whenever we can – Dad and his credit card are thrilled.

Do you know of any other ways to approach the bad-gift-scenario? Let us know by commenting below.

You might also like to check out Alternative Christmas meal ideas.

And that wraps up our Christmas countdown! From everyone here at The RiotACT, we wish you a very merry Christmas!

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