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Gifts that keep on giving - or not!

By Heather R. Breaux -   Dec 28, 2006

We all get that one Christmas present from a distant relative, friend or co-worker that just isn't right, regardless of the child-like anticipation we felt before opening it. It’s not that we’re being ungrateful, the gift is just unwanted.

Whether it’s a duplicate item, not your style or simply useless, there are a few easy ways to make sure these gifts get the “play” they deserve.

Regifting. Giving a gift that you don't want to another person can be a tricky situation. First of all you must remember who gave it to you and never make the mistake of accidentally giving it back to them or to someone they know well. These type of items can be used as a last minute gift for that birthday or anniversary you forgot.

Return it. If your present came equipped with a handy dandy gift receipt then you are home free. But that is usually not the case, and you probably didn't drop any hints that you didn't want the gift, so now you must face the wrath of the customer service desk.

Most retailers won't give you cash in return for the item without a receipt, but you may get lucky and be able to exchange it for something that better suits you.

Give it to charity. The gaudy costume jewelry or scarf that your great aunt gave you makes you cringe, but to those less fortunate, these gifts just might make their day. So don't throw them in a closet until the next spring cleaning. Stop by your local thrift store and make a donation.

Swapping. You're not the only one who has gotten a gift you didn't want, and chances are you know someone who may love what you're trying to get rid of. Swapping gifts with a friend may satisfy both of you and give those striped toe-socks the home they deserve.

Remake it. Get creative with the gifts you don't want. The sweater your cousin wrapped especially for you may be three sizes too big and not the right color, but who says that it wouldn't look great as a set of throw pillows for your couch. Drop in at the nearest arts and crafts store and see what you can do to give your unwanted gifts a second chance.

Selling. When all else fails, act like an entrepreneur and sell. Put the gift aside until your next yard sale or put the item up for bid on an online auction site. You never know how much money you could rake in on that velvet deer portrait. It might look perfect over someone else's fireplace.

Remember that not wanting a gift isn't a bad thing. We all appreciate the time and energy that went into purchasing or making the gift. And for most of us, it's the thought that counts. Don't beat yourself up over not liking the present - make the best of it.

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