Ungifting: The Art Of Selling Your Crappy Gifts To People With Bad Taste

If your family gave you something crappy this year, why not help the item find its intended audience by selling it online? The Chicago Tribune caught up with one woman who did just that. She didn’t want to return the singing penguin figurines her mother purchased from QVC, because she didn’t want to hurt mom’s feelings, so she sold them on eBay.

Let’s hope mom doesn’t read the Chicago Tribune. The Trib also talked to Lizzie Post, who disapproves of “ungifting.”

Etiquette expert Lizzie Post, the great-great-granddaughter of manners maven Emily Post, shudders at the growing popularity of reselling gifts. The practice is not acceptable under any circumstances, she said.

“It’s worse than regifting,” she said. “You’re not even taking the gift and giving it to someone else. You’re cashing in on it.”

Post suggests keeping an unneeded gift in a show of appreciation toward the person who cared enough to give it. If that’s not possible, she recommends donating it to charity or offering it to a friend — so long as one identifies it as an unwanted present and doesn’t try to pass it off as a firsthand item.

“What’s the purpose of a gift?” she asked. “It’s the thought behind it. Reselling a gift is greedy. It really is.”

Lighten up, Lizzie. If people want to eBay their QVC penguin figurines we say—go for it.

Beyond regifting, now it’s ungifting [Chicago Tribune]
(Photo:silent e)

Comments

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  1. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    I think this is a pretty good idea…otherwise, if you are like me, you hold on to that crappy item for years and years…and eventually throw it away during a move, or spring cleaning, long after it has lost value.

    Just as long as the person who gave it to you doesn’t know your eBay seller name!

  2. BeauKSU says:

    She’s missing the point:

    “What’s the purpose of a gift?” she asked. “It’s the thought behind it. Reselling a gift is greedy. It really is.”

    I think the gifts that get re-gifted and or un-gifted are the ones that DIDN’T have any thought behind them to begin with.

  3. HRHKingFriday says:

    Well the key is to have more than one tacky relative, preferably on opposite sides of the family tree. Someday, though, they’ll find out why they always get their gifts in January (darn UPS! I mean…)

  4. Geekybiker says:

    Whatever. Sell it, return it, do what every you want with it. If the person who gave it to you doesnt know you well enough to know something you’d like they you should feel any obligation toward keeping a gift just to make them happy.

  5. PinkBox says:

    Well, if YOU don’t want the gift, why would you want to shove it off on someone else who probably won’t like it either?

  6. protest says:

    “What’s the purpose of a gift? It’s the thought behind it.”

    more like the obligation behind it, many times people feel obligated to gift. also many times people buy things as gifts that they themselves like, rather than considering who the gift is for. if someone gives you a gift that you dislike so much you can’t keep it in your house, then they obviously don’t know you that well or put much thought into it, so sell that crap for all it’s worth!

  7. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    I think it varies per item. If it is a small decorative trinkit, but you don’t like it…keep it. If it is something you deem horrible for your home (like a real stuffed wolf)…sell it. Or, if it is something you really have NO use for (like an iPod case if you own a Zune), the sell it.

  8. UpsetPanda says:

    I have a confession. I got a gift from a really great friend of mine who usually knows exactly what I want and like. Unfortunately, she bought me a candle set and I have absolutely no use for candles. What on earth possessed her to buy me a candle set, I don’t know. I thought about tracking down what store it came from and getting store credit, but I thought better of it because what if she asks about it later?

    I think ungifting is perfectly fine, as long as there isn’t anything dishonest about it, like posting on eBay you got it for $45 and are selling it for the low price of $30 when it was a gift so you got it for free.

  9. monkey33 says:

    @JD: The beauty of candles is that you get to burn the evidence.

  10. Starfury says:

    I hate getting crap and usually will get some for Christmas (from the in-laws) every year. That’s why in July sometime we’ll do a garage sale to clear out that kind of crap (.25 box) and other stuff that’s accumulated.

  11. bohemian says:

    One place I worked would always give the employees one of the products the company sells. Usually the leftover ones that didn’t sell well the previous year. We were supposed to all be gushing with gratitude over the overpriced leftovers that most of the staff were not anywhere near the target market for.

    I found out the week after the holiday party that I was not the only one who put theirs for sale on Ebay, most of the department did.

    I do have a few rather unwanted gifts that I found a way to repurpose them elsewhere in the house so it didn’t get thrown and still got used.

  12. UpsetPanda says:

    Maybe I can’t have it both ways…I think it’s okay to ungift, yet I don’t like it when other people do it.

    The weird thing is, I wanted to get a friend of mine a DVD set for Christmas, but this person was so unbelievable frugal (read: cheap) that I didn’t want to get them something they could sell after watching it because I KNEW they’d do it. I guess in the case of this person, it’s because this person takes advantage of what other people have and very obviously tries to get things for free, like calling to see if you want to watch the big game, knowing you are the one who has cable and they just want to watch TV at your house.

  13. csdiego says:

    …which is why I listen to Miss Manners on etiquette rather than Lizzie Post. She says that once a gift is given, it’s out of the giver’s hands and the recipient can do whatever she wants with it. As long as she thanks the giver and doesn’t tell her how much she hates the hideous afghan or vase, the recipient is under no obligation to put the hideous afghan on the couch or display flowers in the vase the next time the giver comes over.

  14. Instigator says:

    Why is it that the people who say, “It’s not the gift, it’s the thought that counts,” put no thought into the tasteless gifts they inflict? This mantra is really a code for, “Just take it and smile, I’ve fulfilled my obligation.” Under the circumstance, you have every right to unload the piece of crap. After all, it’s yours! The only downside is that it will probably be bought as a gift for someone else…

  15. unklegwar says:

    “What’s the purpose of a gift?” she asked. “It’s the thought behind it. Reselling a gift is greedy. It really is.”

    No, it’s not.
    Why keep the clutter of items that you’ll never use? Should I dedicate a room in the house to holding onto all that stuff? Besides, I would think the giver would want you to have something you like.

    If there really IS thought behind the gift, then that set of penguins should never show up. If the gift doesn’t fit the recipient, then that shows a total lack of thought. It’s the “I got you some junk cuz I had to” scenario.

    Somewhat understandable if the giver doesn’t know you too well, but family should know if you like dust-collecting doodads or not.

  16. backbroken says:

    Damn but every January I look back at Christmas and think how much happier everyone would have been if we just spent all that money on ourselves rather than getting all the crap you don’t really want and having all the stress involved in getting just the right gift for everyone else.

  17. B says:

    How does selling them on eBay not hurt her mom’s feelings? And I hope mom doesn’t read the newspaper. Also, I recommend doing what I do, have relatives with better taste.

  18. sir_eccles says:

    And gift receipts where invented why?

  19. Youthier says:

    No one should keep something they have no use for. I definately think that if you can return something you should instead of attempting to “profit” off it.

    I’ve also regifted once. We got two coffee makers for our wedding (thanks Target’s awesome registry). My brother’s birthday was a week later and he needed a new coffee maker. I didn’t have to come back from my honeymoon and rush out to find him a gift and he loved it.

  20. revmatty says:

    I have no qualms about regifting, ungifting, donating, or just plain throwing out crap that people give me that I don’t want.

    It’s the thought that counts? Well in many cases the thought appears to be “I don’t know anything about your interests or taste but feel obligated to get you a gif because we’re related by marriage, so here’s something you neither want nor need.” I’m not sure why I should ‘respect’ the intent behind that.

    Then again I’m opposed to mandatory gift giving and the entire materialist focus of the Christmas season.

  21. forever_knight says:

    how about it is unacceptable for people to give you shitty gifts? at least people are trying to get the crap items to other people that will appreciate them. does Miss Manners really want us to hoard all those awful gifts in our closets??

  22. UpsetPanda says:

    @B: If her mom doesn’t know about it…if she does, I bet no matter how much a person says it doesn’t bother them, it has to just a bit, unless it was something her mother didn’t spend much time on at all.

    Better yet, have relatives who ask what you want. Not that it takes the surprise out of the holidays, but I think even asking someone what they’d like means more than even giving someone something you think they would like without actually knowing if they would like it or not. I got a really nice coat for Christmas…it’s totally not my style, but it was expensive. Does that make it an awesome gift, because the giver thought that I would like it? Heck no. The road to ungifting is paved with good intentions and tacky singing penguins.

  23. UpsetPanda says:

    @JD: Correction…a “really nice coat” actually means it was of really good quality, but was one of the most godawful ugly things I’ve ever seen.

  24. LadyNo says:

    @Instigator: Here’s a true “it’s the thought that counts” instance. I am very particular about fragrances, so when my husband asked what he could tell his mother to get me, I told him the exact fragrance from The Body Shop that I like (Cocoa Butter), as well as some other stuff. For Christmas I received some stuff made with cocoa butter, but not from The Body Shop. That means she took the time to look for products that she thought I would like, but just was off mark. I was bummed that I didn’t get the stuff I like to use, but the thought was definitely there.

  25. RISwampyankee says:

    I dunno. I kinda like the Santa Yoda figurine. It speaks to the duality of man…you know, that Jungian thing.

  26. cerbie says:

    If I got a Santa Yoda, I would keep it. But, I would generally also keep stuff that I wouldn’t like, and then get rid of it as I was cleaning, years later.

  27. UpsetPanda says:

    @ladyno: I’ve had a few of these cases too. I hate the cynic in me who says that in those cases, sometimes it’s the matter of not wanting to shell out the money for quality items vs. generic drugstore brand items. It’s like receiving $.99 Wet n’Wild when you wanted Lancome nail polish in a specific color. The colors might be similar, but it’s not the same.

  28. strathmeyer says:

    “What’s the purpose of a gift?” she asked. “It’s the thought behind it. Reselling a gift is greedy. It really is.”

    Huh? If it’s the thought that counts, why does it matter what I do with a gift after I get it?

    And how is reselling a gift greedy? Thinking that someone shouldn’t be able to make money just because you got them a crappy gift, but instead have to keep it around to make the giver feel good is greedy.

  29. misstic says:

    This just confirms my decision to stop the gi-normous gift exchange our families seem to love. Actually, I think several others breathed a sigh of relief when I made the suggestion to limit gifts to immediate family only instead of all of us adults drawing names and awkwardly trying not to look like a cheap jackass while working with a $30 per gift limit. Not to mention that it’s all done by mail since the family is so far flung. This year was so much nicer. Everyone got to focus on buying for their spouse and kids. We all chipped in for “Mom” & “Dad” gifts and they got all of the “kids” (we’re grown and married) something.

    I’m sorry, but I’m with Miss Manners as well. I’m under no obligation to display said ugly/useless gift. Lest the giver think I really like such a monstrosity! Better not to encourage any more gifts from the pages of Finger Hut.

  30. themediatrix says:

    I think selling it on Ebay is selfish. Miss Manners also says that a gift is “a token of esteem.” If someone takes the time to pick something out and give it to you, even if it’s horrible, why not try to enjoy it (the sentiment of it) just a little bit rather than trying to get cash for it.

    There’s a funny old tradition of families taking some ugly statuette out of the closet and sticking it on the mantel whenever Aunt so and so comes over, because that makes her feel good.

  31. Instigator says:

    @JD: I’m inclined to agree. The Body Shop is on the expensive side, and the cocoa butter product that LADYNO received was probably less costly. Of course, perhaps her mother-in-law is on a fixed income. My observation is intended to apply to those who should know better and have the means to do better.

  32. KarmaChameleon says:

    @themediatrix:

    Maybe I’m just a bitch, but if someone gave me singing penguin figurines off QVC, it would make me wonder about what kind of esteem someone really holds me in.

    Thank the gods my family has taste.

  33. ElizabethD says:

    I have used Freecycle to pass along such gifts. At least I don’t feel grubby for profiting from them!

  34. samurailynn says:

    Gifts are supposed to be thoughtful and show appreciation/love/whatever to the receiver. However, our society has made gifts into an obligation.

    Take for example the gift card my husband and I received from his sister… she got us a gift card for a chain book store that is over 50 miles from our house. It would only have taken a few moments to look online to see if that particular store was anywhere near us, but she didn’t take the time to do that much. I always check to make sure that gift cards will be able to be used by the receiver before giving them.

  35. ElizabethD says:

    @misstic:

    GOOD idea. (eliminating or scaling down the gift exchange)

    In the last 5 years we have gradually diminished and now, starting this year, eliminated gift exchanges between adults in our family. Our kids (teens and early 20s) buy little practical and funny things to fill our stockings, but that’s it. Hubby and I don’t NEED any more stuff, and when we do, we like to pick it out ourselves.

    Christmas should be for kids. No more tchotchkes!

  36. ElizabethD says:

    PS: I kind of want that Santa Yoda, though.

  37. samurailynn says:

    @Elizabethd

    I feel the same way. My husband and I didn’t buy each other anything for Christmas (we’re in our 20′s), but ended up spending money on all the other relatives who love the gifts. I can’t wait for next year’s Christmas when we’ll be able to stay at home, participate in the draw a name gift exchange that my side of the family does and spend our money on something that we pick out together and that we both want. Or maybe we just won’t do any Christmas gifts… that would be fine with me too.

  38. Georgie says:

    A relative is known for giving very odd and unusable gifts which they think are humorous. Can’t send unliked gift to Goodwill-as relative shops there frequently. Can’t put them on the curb with free sign as relative would drive by and stop to see what was free. The gifts are so bad no one would want them so they are thrown in the garbage. Such a waste. Wish relative would listen when others say to please give them gift cards for local stores instead.

  39. revmatty says:

    @forever_knight: Yes, that is precisely what she wants. Manners are more important than anything else. A twisted world view if I’ve ever seen one.

    @JD: We do that in my family and still I would get all kinds of garbage. I tried asking people to make donations to the charity of their choice in my name, which I would enjoy far more than anything they would buy me in a store. I have tried this for years with no success.

  40. katewrath says:

    I am all about protecting the giver’s feelings. I make a point of sending a thank you note, and whenever possible, I mention how much use I get out of the gift.

    BUT twice in the last month, I’ve gotten something I could not possibly use. In the first case, it was several tins of Peppermint Bark, the smell of which makes me nauseous. (I used to love it, but moderation has never been my thing and I overdid it last Xmas.) In the second case, it was a Dooney & Burke wristlet. (Just not my style.)

    In BOTH cases, I was able to reunite the items with someone who was unbelievably PSYCHED to have them. In the first case, a Williams-Sonoma sales person called dibs on the bark as soon as I took the tins out of my bag. In the second case, I actually found someone on EBay who was looking for this exact wristlet.

    If you ask Lizzie Post, she’d say I did the wrong thing, but the truth is, the marketplace is more efficient than individuals at making sure goods end up in the hands of the right people.

  41. misstic says:

    This year, some of the stuff in my MIL’s “Christmas care package” had an expiration date from three years ago! She always includes random “stocking stuffers” like tolietries and this year was no exception. We all got items that had a “New and Improved!” sample size shrink-wrapped to the package along with a coupon for your next purchase. All had expired in 2004. And you know how long those coupons last. No telling when she acquired this stuff…..

  42. UpsetPanda says:

    Is your MIL my MIL? We’ve got some talking to do. Except my MIL doesn’t give expired items, just toiletry items you would never think to ever buy for yourself. Though I have to give her props, she got me Biolage shampoo, which definitely isn’t dollar store.

  43. misstic says:

    LOL JD! One year I got the following: a bright purple ski suit that was obviously made for a 10 year old girl. I don’t ski, don’t live near ski slopes, however I am petite so it fit. Also included in said box: purple rubber spatula set, spices from the Dollar Store and a box of hummus mix that expired the year before. Oh and some used paperbacks. Those actually rocked since I liked the author.

  44. Merkin says:

    I got an unconscionably tacky (and rather pricey) gift in the mail from my dad this Christmas. In less than a week, I gave it away to a total stranger on Craiglist. I was happy b/c I got that crap out of my house, the stranger was happy b/c they got exactly what they were looking for for free. Don’t know how my dad feels; I’m still too mad to talk to him.

  45. RandomHookup says:

    After my mom died, my dad always knew my size … in the form of a check. Even though I was making more money than he ever made when he stopped working 20 years before.

  46. lostalaska says:

    Ranking up with all time worst Christmas gifts was about five years ago I was given a hand made toilet seat where the person had put two rattle snakes into the epoxy mold of the seat. Not having a clue as to what to do with it I gave it to a scrubby local bar I like and often frequent. It’s now hanging over the antlers of a moose and it has become a holiday tradition for someone to steal it down from the antlers and mount it to the bars toilet during Christmas.

    Really though in the past about 8 years I’ve had a lot of family pass away and I’ve often helped out cleaning and removing all their stuff from their houses. Seeing all the junk that gets collected and just thrown in draws and stuffed into boxes thrown into the back of overstuffed closets (including many holiday gifts) I realized just how much useless and never to be used junk we collect either because we thought we needed it or because we didn’t want to possibly hurt someone’s feelings. I now do a serious spring cleaning once a year and just take everything I haven’t used in the past few years to the salvation army or the dump. My life and living space have become a lot less cluttered. So with unusable holiday gifts I now either sell them off or give them to Salvation Army. It took some serious work when I first decided to unclutter my living space and now that it is I’ll do everything I can to keep it that way.

  47. UpsetPanda says:

    @misstic: I’d take used books too, but only from authors I like. I hate it when I get gifts from people who don’t actually know me, but either assume I’m 13 years old (add 10 years, bucko!) or that I’m still interested in the kitschy things that all stereotypical asian girls my age must love (OMG hello kitty cell phone tassels!!). I just want oh so badly to gather all of those kitschy items and throw them from a moving vehicle.

  48. kilexia says:

    If people give me a gift I don’t like, then close to Christmas the next year I make sure to mention what I’d prefer. “Gee, that neon-green sweater you gave me last year is great, but this year I could really use new headphones.” That way I don’t get as many knick-knacks and clothes I’d never wear.

  49. topgun says:

    Wow. Selling it on eBay! What an idea. Why didn’t I and about 700,000 other people think of that.

  50. Snakeophelia says:

    Seeing as how I have now gotten to the point where I just throw away everything I get from a certain older relative – trust me, no one would buy it, and it’s bad enough that I don’t know anyone who would want it – I think I’m going to steel myself next Christmas and tell them not to give me anything. They, of course, will continue to do so, because if they don’t give me something, they can’t tell me the same old sob story about how poor they are and how tough things were this year and how they just barely managed to scrape up the cash for the gift. Meanwhile, their brand-new RV is larger than my house and their house is larger than anything I will ever live in. And you’d better believe I will be expected to buy something for them every year until the day they go to that big RV park in the sky.

    Rant over. Feel better now.

  51. jamesdenver says:

    Here’s a related stumper: How do you deal with retired parents, who in an effort to scale down in life are trying to move the entire contents, (including the sentimental stuff and old Lionel train set,) of their house into your house?

  52. jamesdenver says:

    My mom got me a rice maker last year. I tell her I already have every gadget I need in my house.

    She went looking for her rice maker last visit, and I told her I donated it to the thrift store.

    I finally convinced her somewhere someone is making bogs of rice enjoying it more than I would – and it’s a good thing.

    But what about my rice? I’ve always just boiled a pot of water. Never had a problem.

  53. zippyzop says:

    My wife’s side of the family is the worst, specifically, my brother in law and mother in law.
    Bro in law: Loves soccer, thinks everyone else should. Always gets me MLS gear… oh, because it is so popular. Also, he gets us stuff like sweatshirts from his daughter’s elementary school in Texas, and I live in Oregon. Wow, sure want to support those fighting Centennial 4th graders!
    The stuff he gets for my wife is no better. He is big time baptist, and my wife is pretty much nothing and I am a jew. He gets us Cokie Roberts!’s book who evidently is married to a jew with an attached sticky that said “Heard this was good.” I mean, it is one thing to buy me Cokie Roberts’ book, but to have not read it yourself but to just have heard it was good, yikes. Also, post my wife delivering he got her “Fit for Life”… sensitive.
    Mother in law is a little better, but I did get a gift card for $27.57 from The Good Guys one year. All I could think of is she must have returned some rechargeable batteries or something.

  54. UpsetPanda says:

    @jamesdenver: Donate the non-sentimental stuff to salvation army or goodwill, go through the sentimental stuff, find out the story behind each one, look to see whether the sentimental quality is really that sentimental. If not, donate that too. If so, keep it.

  55. MercuryPDX says:

    We (my two friends and I) decided to do “Stockings only” this year, and I was pretty disappointed. Instead of ONE nice gift we all got lots of smaller “junk” (for lack of a better term). I’m not even trying to be ungrateful, but I’d prefer nothing instead of a “random grab of dollar store items”.

    I’m 37… I don’t need a TMNT yo-yo, and it just seems so wasteful on both sides: 1. She spent a buck or three to get sonmething that… 2. …will never get used or see the light of day, and just takes up space in a drawer. That smacked of “an obligation”, and I’d rather just relieve them of that obligation next year.

    As a person who usually puts great thought and time into gift giving, buying “random junk” was difficult for me. I had a really hard time buying something cool, cheap, and useful that had some forethought about the recipient… while keeping it under $50 total. I really felt like I was throwing my money away.

    Maybe next year I’ll suggest we do “One gift under $50″ or “No exchange at all”.

  56. STrRedWolf says:

    Quote: “What’s the purpose of a gift?” she asked. “It’s the thought behind it.”

    Yes, I took out the last two sentences, and concentrate on it.

    You’ve been given a crappy gift. Was the thought behind it “This will be great for him/her!” or “Meh. Send this load of junk to him/her, they won’t care.”

    No, if they cared enough to send the very best, they wouldn’t of given you such a crappy gift in the first place.

    Lizzie Post? An expert? More like short sighted.

  57. jamesdenver says:

    JD good points. It’s just all special to me – and I’m a total minimalist.

    As “thoughtless” as gift cards are considered – I’ve actually used two of mine already… It came in handy at Home Depot doing some post Christmas week projects around the house.

  58. UpsetPanda says:

    @mercurypdx: How hard can that be?! $50 and under…lots of goodies! Books, CDs, food, magazines, DVDs…things that aren’t typically regarded as being personal actually are if you give the time to think of what that person wants to do with their time. One of my friends gave me the Office Space kit, with the jump to conclusions mat and the initech mug. Was it useless? Pretty much. But she knew I liked Office Space and I’m now using my initech mug at work.

    What actually does suck about getting crap toys is that you can’t even feel good about donating them to kids because they just won’t last. I try to do a few of the Christmas shoeboxes every year, the ones that go to kids in third world countries, and I try to do toys of pretty decent quality because even the joy of having a toy is shortlived if someone gave you a crappy toy. Even if it weighs down the box a little, I try to do matchbox cars and stuff I used to play with, like legos.

  59. What’s up with the sentimental garbage about keeping gifts you don’t like? Though it’s a special kind of uncouth to recoil in horror while still in the presence of the giver, what you do with it afterward is nobody’s business.

    If it’s the thought that counts, it must count for both parties – you thought enough to take it with a smile, therefore you’ve fulfilled your obligation as well.

  60. Dustbunny says:

    Sooo…I’m the only one here who thinks the singing penguin figurines sound really cute? Do want!

  61. SaraAB87 says:

    I donated stuff to Toys for Tots this year, since I am a toy collector looking to unload a lot of stuff this was a really good idea for me as I was able to dump off all the ebay-worthless stuff that I was not able to sell and gain some space. I gained some space and some kids got some really nice toys for Christmas somewhere. Since most of the toys I donated were several years old but still unopened in the package they were of decent quality.

    I will definitely be donating again next year and I will make sure that everything that goes into the donation box is decent and will not fall apart the first time the kid plays with it.

  62. cuiusquemodi says:

    @HeyHermano: My god. Because what could possibly be worse than profit? Rather than maximizing the value you recieve from a giver, you should artificially limit the positive impact of the giver’s effort/thought/investment.

    If it makes you feel better, I suppose.

  63. mac-phisto says:

    this is why i buy everyone booze. no one ever said “gee, i really wish you hadn’t bought me that bottle of gin.”

    well, maybe gin’s not the best example. on second thought, don’t buy gin as a gift for someone you really like. or drink it around them. or their family. ESPECIALLY their family.

  64. jaheinz says:

    oh heck, my mom cannot deal with the fact that I tell her what I what, but yet she insists on buying me crap I don’t want and don’t ask for…(isn’t that the point of a christmas wish list, you tell people what you want) so half the time I return it, which annoys her… so now I just don’t tell her…and send it off to charity. this year some lucky charity is getting a chia herb garden… she claimed it was a joke gift… oy vey… I think my brother is picking up her gift giving talent… he bought me a gift card from a store I never listed. luckily I will use it… don’t really have a choice I just wish they’d give me the cash/check rather than some charity getting the gift they think is nifty, and to me it’s a waste.

  65. nrwfos says:

    Then there are gifts that come from someone like my mother. You’d think she’d know what I like (I’m 58). If she does, it doesn’t show. Her philosophy of gift-giving is giving something that she thinks the person should have or someone that she wants to buy.
    I resigned myself to bad gifts since the age of 11. For years now, I’ve had to contend with really weird and totally unwanted stuff. My house is filled with framed certificates from clubs she’s enrolled me and my family in (a copy of each for each person – framed) and other framed things. Can’t sell that or give it away. It makes me feel badly because she really shouldn’t be spending the money (it wasn’t cheap). Only one of my children (3) is out of the house. So her multiple gifts have resulted in us having 3 statues of Alfred the Great! And the religious books and Bibles (multiple copies from different preachers).
    Even if we were religious church goers – that’s ridiculous. The only gifts recently that she’s given that could be sold was to my daughter – 6 different fur (real fur – fox) coats in different colors. I don’t know what my daughter will do with them. I’m so glad that I don’t live near my Mom – she’d be so hurt and angry that I’ve divested myself of most of this stuff. I keep trying to tell her to stop giving us stuff – but she won’t listen. My husband hates when gift-giving time comes around because of this.

  66. captnkurt says:

    Hey, I have an idea!

    What do you think old Liz would do if she got some wonderful gifts from us Consumeristas? Dancing Santas, Singing Fish, Inflatable Mooseheads, Salad Shooters, one of those “A Christmas Story” leg lamps (or better yet, dozens of those leg lamps).

    Het, it’s the thought that counts, right, Lizzie? Hope you have lots of extra room to display all these treasures…

  67. STrRedWolf says:

    @captnkurt: Send Liz Post a Squakers McCaw! It ranks up there with the Singing Bass.

  68. ahwannabe says:

    People who say “it’s the thought that counts” are getting “thinking” confused with “acting.”

  69. UpsetPanda says:

    @nrwfos: Goodness, I’m sorry you have to deal with that. Any story I have is put to shame. Can you do anything with the club certificates? As far as the Bibles and religious books…donate them to charity. There are plenty of churches that don’t have the funds to replace their church Bibles, I’m sure with the many various editions you have, you can find homes for them. If any of them are in different languages, you can probably contact a missions organization and they can take the Bibles off your hands. Or donate them to a religious university. Book donations are still allowed to be claimed as a tax writeoff in a lot of areas.

  70. MrsMicah says:

    While it’s nice to acknowledge any thought which leads to gifts (some people really just like tacky stuff) no one has the right to demand you keep stuff (unless they pay for your living space). I mean, someone could give me a puppy but I wouldn’t be able to pay for its food and it would violate my apt lease. Tacky stuff is just likely a slightly less evident puppy.

    The goal is to be nice about such things. If they meant well anyway.