I don’t know starting when, holiday becomes a gifting season. People scratch their heads, and try to figure out what gifts they should buy. It could be very stressful.
I’m not good at gifting. I don’t like buying gifts, and don’t like receiving gifts either. To me, a simple life is a good life. But, sometimes, I do have to go through the gift selecting process. I have to admit, it is hard.
Gifting is one way to express love and caring. But, I feel that, many times, gifting is wasting the money and time. How do you know the person who is to receive the gift will really like it?
At the moment you present the gift, the person may tell you he/she likes it. Right after you have left, the gift is probably moved to the basement, garage or the closet, and never sees the daylight again. At the end, it may end up in the trash can, and later land-fill place.
How sad it is! You spent so many hours thinking about what to buy, then went to the store and got it. Then you wrapped it up using the beautiful paper. Your dear and hard-earned money was gone. But your gift may never ever be used. It just becomes another item in the clutter. Or it is either returned to the store, or re-gifted.
Do you remember The Toaster story in the comedy Everybody Loves Raymond?
GYM of Gen Y Money wrote a great article “8 Minimalist Gifts That Won’t Be Thrown Away“.
I hate to see stuff and money wasted. Here are some forms of gifts I like personally:
- Eat out together:
Who refuses eating out? It’s a great time to sit down with family and friends, and relax. No worry about cooking, and cleaning. Select a good restaurant, let everyone order their own favorite food, and enjoy the meal and time together.
- Gift cards:
Gift card is not a bad idea, if you know which stores or restaurants the person usually goes to. Grocery store, department store, hardware store, coffee shop, bakery, etc.
I like to bring fresh flowers as gifts for ladies. A pot of flowers would be great, as it can be watered, and last longer. The flower boutique is fine, too. It looks fresh and pretty. The only drawback is that, it lasts less than one week.
- Write a check:
I know I’m the dinosaur who still uses checks. When gifting to parents or kids, can we write a check? It’s the least time-consuming way. Who doesn’t like money? But, here is the question: is money the proper gift for everyone? I’m not sure.
What do you do when you receive a unwanted gift?
I’m sure each of us has faced this dilemma before. After all, you are the passive recipient, not much choice there. What can you do? You can’t just directly say: “Sorry, but I really don’t need it (or like it). Can you please bring it back?” That would hurt.
Okay, the person has left, and the ugly gift is sitting in your living room. You don’t want to have anything to do with it. What should you do about it? A big question.
Should you re-gift it? Probably not, as re-gifting is not solving the problem, just transferring the problem to someone else. Putting it in the storage room or trash can is not good either. It triggers the guilty feeling.
I couldn’t find any perfect solution about unwanted gift, except one thought: Don’t send out unwanted gifts. In another word, don’t spend your money and create the problem for someone else the first place.
Dear readers, what gifts do you usually buy? What do you do when receiving the unwanted gifts? Please share your smart gifting ideas with each of us.