Giving and Receiving Unwanted Gifts

Giving and Receiving Unwanted Gifts: Day 11 of 12 Days of Shopping

For Day 11, I am exploring the art of giving and receiving unwanted gifts and Jeanette has 15 DIY holiday gifts you can make with your kids.

I doubt anyone would ever reject a handmade gift made with love (hence going DIY shows you really care), but are you inadvertently giving gifts that are being regifted? Do your kids know how to react when receiving a gift that does not excite them? What is the etiquette of handling an unwanted gift? I don’t have the answers so I went exploring…

I really liked what The Grio had to say about regifting.

Exchanging at the Store: She says it’s tacky to return for money but exchanging for something more suitable is ok.

Here’s what you say to the giftor (I thought this was genius): “I took the [insert gift] back to the store because it had a [insert defect], but they didn’t have anymore *look really sad for this part *, so I got a [insert much cooler gift] instead.”

The Perils of Regifting: You can’t get caught so you have to think 6 degrees of separation when you decide to regift. Does your intended gift receiver have any connection to the originator of the gift? If there is any hint of that, then No, No, No!! You will get caught and it will be ugly.

Donating Unwanted Gift: Find a local charity and get a two for one. You get rid of it and you get a tax deduction.

Here’s what you say to the giftor (again, pure genius): “Gosh, you know me so well! I already have a [insert gift], so I went ahead and donated the one you gave me to [insert awesome charity]. I know that will make someone really happy.”

Now that we’re clear on the rules of regifting, I’m going to start with some ridiculously expensive gifts I’ve come across while working on this 12 Days of Shopping series. Now, no one is going to gift these to me, but they are so outrageously expensive that I’d have to decline. What would you add to this list?

Ridiculously Expensive Gifts

Let’s start with this Louis Vuitton heavy bag created by Karl Lagerfeld though I’m not sure I know any boxer who would actually use this as the price tag is a whopping $175,000. You do get matching boxing gloves, but still!!

Louis Vuitton heavy bag

The Dog Pod 2.0 is really cool but it’s ridiculously expensive at $900.

modern and expensive dog bed

Gifts That Get Re-Gifted

Are you guilty of regifting any of these gifts? I am! And, have you ever given these gifts to someone? Do you think your present ended up re-gifted? I doubt it. I’m sure they loved your fruitcake!

1. Ties

Unless it’s someone you know really well such that you can name half the tie brands in his closet, you probably don’t know his style well enough to pick out a tie that he will actually wear. In this day and age of office casual, there isn’t much opportunity to wear ties anyway, and if he’s the kind of guy that has to wear a suit and tie to work everyday, then the tie is one of the few areas where he can show his personal style. So let him. A gift certificate to his favorite men’s store might be a better bet.

ugly holiday ties for men

2. Perfume and any other sort of fragrance including candles

While all the senses are connected with memories, smell in particular sparks a flurry of emotional memories, according to NBC News. That means that your olfactory memories don’t mean the same thing to me. Vanilla might bring back warm fuzzy feelings of freshly baked cookies to YOU but remind me of a horrible piano recital that ended with a sheet cake. There’s just no telling. This is serious minefield territory.

old spice

3. Sweaters (and clothes)

I covered Ugly Holiday Sweaters already but my further note is that unless you are a fashion stylist (not in your own mind but actually getting paid to do this), chances are that you might not realize if your gift recipient has a long torso or a short torso, likes crew neck versus v neck, fitted versus louche, and tends to throw everything into the washer and dryer.

ugly holiday sweater

4. Non Fiction Books for Adults

The thing about non fiction is that it should match the reader’s interests whereas a great fiction book has much wider appeal.

boring non fiction

boring non fiction


5. Fruitcake

There’s a reason why it’s a punchline of a joke, people. No one likes this stuff. It doesn’t even look like real fruit.


6. Picture Frame

Katu’s survey found that picture frames are the number one gift that gets regifted. Can you guess why?

gifts that get regifted


7. Pajamas (and slippers)

I think it’s because pajamas are worn in the privacy of one’s home so people wear whatever they want to sleep in, even if it’s nothing at all. Therefore, we all are a little tweaky when it comes to sleepwear.

adult footy pajamas

What gifts that are likely to be regifted would you add to this list?


12 Days of Shopping with Jeanette of Tiny Rotten Peanuts

Day 1: Gratitude Advent Calendars (Mine, Jeanette’s)
Day 2: Gifts That Give Back (Mine, Jeanette’s)
Day 3: Gender Bending Gifts for Kids (Mine, Jeanette’s)
Day 4: Gifts for Those Impossible to Shop for (Mine, Jeanette’s)
Day 5: Gifts to Open Minds (Gifts for Kids Who Hate Art and Reading, Jeanette’s Reluctant Artists)
Day 6: Oops, I Did It Again; Worst Gifts Ever (Ugly Holiday Sweaters, Oh So Tacky Christmas Gifts)
Day 7: Gifts to Steal from Loved Ones (Mine, Jeanette’s)
Day 8: Left Brain/Right Brain Gifts (Mine, Jeanette’s)
Day 9: Gifts for Those Easily Forgotten & Unique Client Gifts
Day 10: Gifts for New Year’s Resolutions (Mine, Jeanette’s)
Day 11: Giving and Receiving Unwanted Gifts15 DIY Gift Ideas
Day 12: The Art of the Thank You Note (Mine, Jeanette’s)

To examine any book more closely at Amazon, please click on image of book.

 Giving and Receiving Unwanted Gifts

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By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. First of all, I want the dog pod for myself. Second, I am buying that giant boxing bag for you!
    Jeanette Nyberg recently posted…Best DIY Idea of the Season: Make Your Own Ugly SweaterMy Profile

  2. My dog would love the pod! I wonder how many folks actually buy a LV boxing bag. There must have been some demand for them to make it. Fun post!

  3. I have never had the problem of receiving a really expensive gift that I could not use. Never have attempted to return to the store. I might ask as close relative if they could use the gift; otherwise I would probably put it away somewhere and forget about it.

  4. I just came back to see the purple pj’s again. Okay. See you tomorrow for our last post of the series! 🙁
    Jeanette Nyberg recently posted…Best DIY Idea of the Season: Make Your Own Ugly SweaterMy Profile

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