couple doing christmas shopping

Yesterday, hocked up on caffeine and Rescue Remedy, I tackled one of the most hideous annual events that I put myself through, that being the start of my Christmas shopping.

I always have very good intentions. I have a list and a few ideas for each person. I then put on some comfortable shoes and mentally prepare myself but something happens. I get to said shops and get giddy. So many people rushing around, bumping into you, sticking little bits of paper into your hand doused in the scent that some marketing company did a deal with Miley Cyrus to plug.

The Christmas music lingering in the background like some sort of ghoulish reminder that you must spend your money, and preferably in that particular store.

And the thought of emptying my bank account right down until I can see the bottom of it?

Tis the season to be broke!

christmas presents wrapped beautifully

Then I get fed up and head home, vowing to do the whole lot online. But then what if stuff doesn’t turn up, like last year, when I was forced to regift something?

Re-gifting is one of the most insulting things one can do to another human being. Well, that and starting your sentence with “Your Momma…” But let’s not jump on our moral high horse just yet? We all do it….

How do I know this? Because this year Australians will spend $450 million dollars on unwanted Christmas presents and where do those presents end up? Either for sale on a website or your “Present Cupboard.” Right now if you punch in Unwanted Gift into Ebay, you will find 854 people trying to cash in on their unloved presents. That figure is expected to rise dramatically come December 26.

Last year I re-gifted a hamper, containing helpful things like blanched almonds and suspicious-looking condiments, to an acquaintance who turned up for a drink holding a Christmas Cake sourced from Baker’s Delight.

It was awkward and obvious that both items were not actually purchased with our own money. Mine came from the company as a thank you for some work I had done, while hers? She had won it in a promotion!

women exchanging christmas gifts

A good laugh was had by all when confessions were made. And it taught me never to re-gift again. But it still goes on.

American editor Natalie Bahadur has even come up with a guide for those who insist on recycling their gifts.

  1. The item must be brand new.
  2. Be sure the person who gave you the gift doesn’t know the person receiving it.
  3. Never re-gift something that you have had hanging around for years.
  4. Never re-gift items that someone has hand made for you.
  5. Take the time to re-wrap the gift and attach new bows or ribbons.

And my extra one?

6.  Don’t be such a tight-ass and don’t do it in the first place.

But how can you give someone a gift that you know they will truly like and where you know that you are not wasting your cash? Well, some smart cookie has invented an App to fix that issue. According to Kylie Barrow, creator of The Gift Register

For the person receiving the inappropriate gift, it is not only awkward but also frustrating for them having to exchange, return or re-gift unwanted presents. It’s an unnecessary waste of their time and resources.

By using The Gift Register app you can create lists of gift suggestions you’d like to receive which can then be shared with your family and friends or curated for special occasions.

While I think it is a great idea, is it a cop-out? Should you put in special orders for Christmas presents? And what will become of the dusty collection of soaps and body lotions that you have built up over the past few years?

And the hampers? Won’t somebody think of the hampers?


Confess all and Repent in the Spirit of Christmas!

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