What To Do With Your Unwanted Christmas Gifts

unwanted Christmas gifts

Christmas is the time of year when people are at their most generous. And that’s exactly why we shouldn’t worry about unwanted Christmas gifts.

Stay with me here.

We’ve all been in the situation where a loved one, friend or colleague buys us something we just have no earthly use for.

Maybe we already have one (and accommodating two is unnecessary); maybe we’ve been given perfume we’re allergic to, or a Christmas jumper that doesn’t fit.

So what should we do with these gifts?

Many people will just choose to keep them stored out of sight until enough time passes, then quietly drop them off at a charity shop or a landfill.

But there are other options.

Return your gift (to the shop, not the person)

You shouldn’t encounter any problems returning a gift over the festive period — either for a refund, a credit note, or something of equal value.

The increasing use of gift receipts these days has made this easier, but choosing to return will probably mean a slightly awkward conversation with whoever gave you that ceramic figurine of Kate Middleton.

Sell the gift on

A little mercenary perhaps, but a lucrative sideline for many thanks to the advent of websites like Amazon and eBay.

You never know, you might even make more than the original purchase price!


It’s likely that your local charity shop will be on the lookout for quality items in good condition.

This will include things like clothes and DVDs, but also ornaments, instruments and a whole lot more.

Charities collecting for refugees or the homeless are usually quite specific — it’s always worth dropping by beforehand to ask what they need, rather than simply throwing a bin bag at the door from your moving car.


Remember: just because you can’t find a use for something doesn’t mean that others won’t.

If you receive a gift that you think someone else will enjoy, consider passing it on.

It’s probably good form to let them know the origin of their new favourite throw pillow, though.

There you have it — unwanted Christmas gifts. need not necessarily languish at the back of the cupboard, or go straight in the bin.

Click here for our advice on saving your money over the festive period, or read these tips for how to eat, drink and be healthy.

The “Friend” team also recently put together a list of our favourite Christmas movies. Take a look here. Can you spot any of your favourites?

Iain McDonald

Iain is Digital Content Editor at the "Friend", making him responsible for managing flow of interesting and entertaining content on the magazine's website and social media channels.