An Unconventional Guide to Paying for College

3 Ways to Cope with Unwanted Christmas Presents

unwanted christmas presents

I’d like to say that I have never had this problem, but I would be lying through my teeth. Most of you can relate. You have all received a Christmas present that just didn’t quite live up to your expectations. Instead of an Xbox, you received a kitten calendar.

Instead of a skateboard you got a pack of socks.

Snuggies anyone?!?

Unfortunately, the mystery is not whether or not you will receive unwanted Christmas presents, but rather what do you do with them once you get them?


What better way to make use of a Christmas gift that you do not want than donating it to someone less fortunate. Millions of kids go without Christmas presents during the holiday, and your small donation could brighten up their life. At Christmas time there are hundreds of organizations that accept donations for unwanted presents. Visit your local grocery store or Wal-Mart to find an organization willing to take your unwanted presents.

This might be a bit miserly, but you can even use your donated Christmas presents as a taxable deduction (You can debate on the ethical standing of that one).

Refund or Exchange

The one thing that can make an unwanted Christmas gift a real treat is a gift receipt. A gift receipt is your ticket to returning or exchanging your gift back to the store it was purchased from. Depending on the sotr, you may receive a cash refund, or store credit.

Many stores will even take back your brand new merchandise without a receipt, and give you store credit. All you have to do is find out where it came from. If you can’t figure it out, it’s up to you to play sneaky detective and try to pry it out of your unsuspecting relative.

Sell on Ebay or Craigslist

The after Christmas sales market is huge. Sites like Ebay and Craigslist are booming after Christmas with unwanted Christmas presents. If you have never sold items on Ebay or Cragslist, it is simple to create an account and list your items.

While you are at it, you could dig even deeper into your closets and find your other unwanted items and sell those online also. Who knows, you might wind up finding a hidden stash of stuff you did not know you had, and make a tidy profit off of it. Craigslist and Ebay have become an answered prayer for people who receive unwanted Christmas presents every year. It takes a little extra work, but turning those unwanted gifts into cash is a gift all in itself!

Your Ideas

How about you? Do you have any unique ways to dispose of your unwanted Christmas gifts?


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  1. Nice picture. Your’re right. It’s just going to happen. Craigslist is definitely a good idea. There has to be someone who wants the crazy stuff. Right?
    Dr. Dean recently posted..Family Obligations: Hidden But Real!My Profile

  2. @Dr. Dean. — haha. Thanks! I’m really not sure what happens to all of the unwanted Christmas presents. Maybe the Land of Misfit Toys is not such a crazy idea after all. I can’t help but notice how big the local landfill is getting every time I drive by. I’m sure Christmas does not help our waste consumption…
    MoneyforCollegePro recently posted..3 Ways to Cope with Unwanted Christmas PresentsMy Profile

  3. Usually in college you’re not the only one you know getting unwanted gifts. For instance a friend I knew threw a snuggie bar crawl because they thought it was hysterical – also a good use of the snuggie.
    As for options to get rid of, look into re-gifting.
    Jeff @ Sustainable Life Blog recently posted..Goal-O-MaticMy Profile

    • @Jeff — A Snuggie Bar that is a classic idea. Possibly the best use of the Snuggie I have ever heard of.

      Re-gifting is also a great option, as long as you don’t mistakenly re-gift back to the original gifter. That could lead to an awkward moment.
      MoneyforCollegePro recently posted..3 Ways to Cope with Unwanted Christmas PresentsMy Profile

  4. My family is really good about writing specific lists to avoid unwanted gifts. Although for my father-in-law, returning gifts is a sport so we like to give him stuff we think he may return.
    Jana @ Daily Money Shot recently posted..Financing options for a new homeMy Profile

    • @Jana — My grandfather is like that. He constantly tell us he is at a point in his life that he can buy anything that he wants, so he always returns most of our gifts, and somehow gets the cash back to us. It always seems to work out in the end, and he has a lot of fun with it.
      MoneyforCollegePro recently posted..3 Ways to Cope with Unwanted Christmas PresentsMy Profile


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