PhotoLet’s take a tally: while unwrapping your various Christmas presents this year, how many times did you, for politeness’ sake, have to suppress a wince at the sight of a horribly tacky and useless gift?

In our case, of course, the answer is “zero.” Every gift we received was tasteful and much-wanted, and we’re not only saying that because we know our friends and family all read our articles here. Nope. Nuh-uh. (We especially adore our lovely new hand towels embroidered with the sharp-edged sequins guaranteed to lacerate any hand they come in contact with, and are happy to report that the towel’s ultra-busy pattern does a great job of camouflaging blood stains, too.)

But maybe you’re less fortunate than we are; maybe your post-Christmas season is spent wondering “What am I supposed to do with all this worthless new junk?” Fortunately, there are businesses willing to help you out, in exchange for either a small fee or just some publicity for themselves.

Awful-gift exchange

Houlihan’s Restaurant announced that it’s hosting an awful-gift exchange where people can drop off unwanted holiday awfulness in exchange for a restaurant gift card and someone else’s unwanted holiday item. Just before Christmas, we warned you about the pitfalls of wasting money on unwanted store cards; there exist entire businesses that sell discounted gift cards — which is only possible because so many gift-card recipients are willing to unload their unwanted cards for pennies on the dollar.

You can also forgo the corporate route and either host your own gift-exchange party (just don’t offer any unwanted gifts given you by various party guests), or find local charities seeking unwanted gifts for resale or redistribution to those who need them.

Giving gifts to charity actually ties in with the original theme of “Boxing Day,” the day after Christmas, when people would traditionally “box up” any uneaten feast food (and, presumably, unwanted gifts) to give to the poor. Nowadays, there’s no need to donate your leftover ham or fruitcake slices (and modern sanitary regulations forbid it, anyway), but as long as we have holidays where people are expected to give gifts, there will be people with unwanted gifts they’re looking to unload.

That said: if you do have any unwanted sequin-embroidered hand towels, do not give them to The Poor. The Poor have enough problems already, without shiny and festive hand injuries making matters worse.


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