The giving and gratitude associated with the holiday season are what makes Christmas and New Years so great for me. However, one of the things that can dampen the festive spirits are terrible presents. There were years where I got some real shockers.
More often than not it's the people who you consider to be the closest to you who give you the worst presents. When people who we consider close to us give us presents that are completely out of character with who we are it affects us more, say, when someone we barely know gives us the same present. The strangers don't know us, so it's okay if they mess up, but if close friends or family do it it's a different story.
In our closest relationships, for us to feel good, we need to feel understood and liked for who we are, so when we get a present that's completely opposite to what we like it's natural to feel a little out of place and question the relationship.
People give presents to make the recipient happy and/ or to add value to the recipient's life. If you receive a terrible present and if you keep the said gift it is a lose-lose situation for both the giver and recipient. However, if you recycle the present then someone else can enjoy the gift and you don't have to suffer the presence of your terrible but probably well-intentioned gift.
Previously, not knowing what to do with my bad presents, out of politeness and sometimes sheer bewilderment, I displayed them in highly visible places to make sure I wasn't offending the giver. Nowadays, if I receive something that adds no value to my life I just re-gift. And, I don't feel bad about it.
While I am not able to reverse the actions of the gift giver at least I can do the better thing on my end and the recycle the thing to a better purpose. Furthermore, instead of always re-gifting a better strategy for the long term is to reduce the inflow of the bad gift. To do that be open and honest about who you are with everyone from the beginning, such that there is no confusion about who you are and what you like.
With love and simplicity,
P.S. I am pretty sure I have also given people terrible gifts myself. I'd like to think I'm much better now. I make sure I have asked people what they like before I give them anything. I also let people know that it is okay to re-gift the present if they don't like it when I present them with the gift. It's gifts minus the pressure, guilt and waste(sometimes).
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