28/12/2017 12:31 SAST | Updated 28/12/2017 12:31 SAST

What To Do With Unwanted Christmas Presents

Whatever you do, don't let them lie around, unused and gathering dust, out of guilt.

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It might be a scarf in a colour you detest, a cigar cutter when you don't even smoke, or a coffee maker when you just quit caffeine –– every Christmas, you're likely to get a few gifts you do not particularly need, want or even like. Especially some less-than-inspired "Secret Santa" guesses from well-meaning colleagues...

While it is indeed the thought that counts, yes, now that Christmas is over and the givers of unwanted gifts have been sincerely thanked –– for their kind thought, if not their taste –– and are hopefully not hovering around to make sure you use them, another kind thought would be to not let these gifts gather dust, unused and essentially wasted.

Here are our three tips on how to make the best of unwanted gifts:

1. Regift it

Your friend's birthday is coming up, and they are coffee addicts. Repackage and gift that coffee machine to them. Or it could be an upcoming wedding, at which the groom loves cigar -- that's your cigar cutter sorted! The point is, there are a number of occasions at which you can regift anything you don't want to keep, and at which you can probably find people who'd appreciate using the gift more than you do.

A word of warning, though –– do make sure you keep track of who gives you what; make a list, or use removable sticky notes, if necessary. It's horribly embarrassing to regift something to the person who gave it to you in the first place.

2. Donate it

It does not need to be a fancy event. Depending on the gift, you could donate it to a shelter where a child might need that scarf or enjoy that soccer ball, or a charity that needs that specific item -- and there are plenty of those in South Africa.

3. Sell it

There are a number of local websites where you can put up items for sale. Then you can use that money to gift yourself with something you really want or need. This may be kinder than just selling it and using the money for whatever, but it's totally your choice.