Did you get socks or toiletries in your Christmas stocking again this year? Well here's how to handle it like a boss and without hurting your loved ones feelings.
We've all been there haven't we?
The holiday season come around again and you're thrilled at the prospect of spending time with your family and friends.
And you spend weeks beforehand searching high and low for the perfect gifts for them.
Because you are desperate to get it right as you love them and want to make them happy.
And while giving is always better than receiving, you can't help but feel a tingling of excitement at the thought of what they have gotten for you too.
Which makes it so disappointing when you unwrap your gifts to find they contain a crappy item you neither want or need.
As no matter how well-intentioned the gifts are, the sight of another set of toiletries you'll never use, awful clothes you'll never wear, or books you'll never read fills you with dissatisfaction.
And it's even worse if you get the daddy or all bad gifts, socks and practical underwear!
I mean what the hell were they thinking?
Now, personally I've lost count of the amount of times this has happened to me over the years.
And I don't mean to sound ungrateful, it's just that receiving a load of unwanted gifts is a real drag and can quickly clutter up your home.
Which creates the dilemma of what you should do with gifts you don't need without upsetting your loved ones.
So, I want to share a few solutions to this problem and how you can prevent it from happening in the future.
And without hurting anyone's feelings in the process.
1. Never Show Your Disappointment
If you're opening up your gift in front of the person who has given it to you then it's absolutely vital that you don't show any signs of not liking it.
Because your loved ones will be scrutinising your face and expression intensely and will quickly pick up on any signs of disappointment.
So, you need to channel your high school drama class version of yourself and put on a convincing performance even when you are cringing inside at the contents of the gift.
As the only thing worse than receiving a crappy gift is making the person who went to the trouble of buying it for you feel crappy about it too.
Because a lot of times their poor choice of gift isn't their fault, as they're not mind readers and may be out of touch with what you're currently into.
I mean plenty of us will have grandparents that still get them things as gifts that they were into as kids but have long grown out of.
Or have friends and relatives that they don't see or keep in touch with regularly.
And even uninspiring gifts like socks and toiletries are practical and they probably feel they are on safe ground with these and are helping you by keeping you well stocked up.
So, cut them some slack and remember it's the thought that counts.
And accept your gift graciously, smile, and thank them just as much as you would do if they got you something you really did like!
2. Give Them Away To Charity
While things like socks, boxed toiletries, ugly clothes, and unwanted books, toys, games, and DVDs may be of no use to you, that's not to say they won't be appreciated by someone else.
So, rather than shoving your unwanted gifts into a closet never to be seen again, why not donate them to a local charity shop, hospital, or homeless shelter instead?
As this way they can use them, sell them on, or re-purpose them to help people in need.
Which means you'll be doing a good deed and getting rid of unwanted stuff from your home in one fell swoop.
And it feels nice knowing that your loved one's gift will have done some good in the end too.
3. Re-gift Them (But Do So Secretly)
Another way to make good use of a gift that you don't want is to to wrap it up again and give it to someone else.
And while this may sound a bit underhand, lazy, and out of order at first, it can actually be a good idea.
As not all unwanted gifts are terrible because they have no value, it may just be that they aren't right for you.
However, you may know someone who they'd be perfect for and who'd get a lot of use out of them.
So, why not re-gift it to them instead?
Just be sure when you do this that there is no way that either then sender of the original gift or the recipient of the new gift can ever find out about it.
As it'll hurt the senders feelings, while the person you're re-gifting to will think you're a cheapskate who doesn't care about them enough to go out and buy them a gift.
4. Exchange Them Or Return Them For A Refund
Now this one is for more expensive unwanted gifts rather than simple things like socks or toiletries.
So, if you've received some jewelry, electronic equipment, sneakers, or trendy clothes that don't fit your taste or style, it'd be a real shame to waste your loved ones hard earned money by accepting them and not saying anything.
Especially when you could use that money to get something you really wanted instead.
So, don't be afraid to speak up but try to do it in a tactful way so as to not hurt their feelings.
For example, simply saying something like 'I really love that you got me a necklace but I've had my eye on this bracelet for ages now so would you mind if I exchanged it over?' surely won't offend them.
On the contrary, it'll make them happy to know that they are getting you something you truly like.
And this tactic can also work if you ask them for the receipt so you can get a refund for your gift too.
Just so long as you tell them exactly what you'll be spending their money on instead so they can see where it's going.
5. Sell Them And Buy Something Else With The Money
If you can't face the awkwardness of telling a loved one that they've bought you an expensive dud of a gift then all is not lost.
Because you can still sell it on platforms like eBay or Facebook marketplaces to recoup some of the money.
And then use that money to buy yourself something nice instead.
However, be aware that this one can come back and bite you in the ass in future if they ask about your gift and what you've done with it.
So make sure that they never find out and everyone's a winner!
6. Have A Quiet Word With Repeat Offenders!
Prevention is always better than a cure.
So, if you have that one relative that buys you completely inappropriate crap every year then it's a good idea to take them to one side to try and help them out.
Now obviously you can't just come out and tell them that their gift buying skills suck and that they need to pull their socks up.
But you could try dropping some huge hints about the things you really like, need, and would love to receive for Christmas in the hope that they'll take the bait.
Or how about planting the idea of giving consumable gifts into their heads too?
As things like chocolates, wine, craft beer, and treats will rarely go to waste and won't clutter up your home for months afterwards.
And if they have any creative hobbies you could ask them to make use of their skills and bake you a cake, knit you a scarf, or make you a piece of furniture for a gift.
As these are all great gifts that benefit both the giver and the receiver.
Or suggest that rather than a physical gift this year you'd like it if they made a donation to charity in your name instead.
This way you'll avoid the pain of another Christmas morning disappointment and can simply enjoy the love, thought and sentiment behind the gift instead.
7. Tell Your Family You're A Minimalist
Now this last one is an interesting way of making your friends and family think twice before buying you crap you don't really need for Christmas.
And you'll have to persevere and put in the hours for it to truly work.
But if you wax lyrical for long enough about being a minimalist and only keeping stuff around that you actually use everyday then the message may sink in.
So, really lay it on thick about how you have de-cluttered your apartment and your life and how much better you feel for it.
As then they won't want to get you anything that will go against this, annoy you, and get thrown out straight away.
In fact, they may even surprise you and get you something you really want.
As they'll be putting far more thought into what to get you and what you'd really appreciate and use.
Now this strategy will only work if you are surrounded by perceptive and considerate loved ones, but it's worth a try to cut down on any unwanted gifts.
Just make it crystal clear that you already have more than enough socks to last you a lifetime and the jobs a good 'un!
All gifts are given with the best of intentions but unfortunately some people just get gift giving completely wrong.
And this can mean you end up with closets full of crap that you don't want and will never use.
So, I hope I've given you some ideas here on how to get rid of this unwanted stuff and help it find a better home.
And also how to do so in a way that won't hurt the feelings of your loved ones.
Because while it may seem ungrateful to feel disappointed when receiving a gift, it's a natural reaction if it's something you're going to have no use for.
So, make Christmas the time of love, happiness, and sharing with your friends and family that it should be and forget all about any disappointing gifts.
Because there's always a solution to any problem.