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eleLike every year, next to a number of Christmas presents I liked hugely (thanks again ever so much, guys!), there were two items under the tree that I was not quite to pleased with. I speak of them in the past, because in the week since Christmas I have managed to be rid of both of them. The chocolates I didn’t like I just placed on the table one night next to the wine – and the box was empty after just twenty minutes. The black woolly hat (a nice hat actually, but black makes me look completely washed out) I handed over to my nieces. Being teenagers, naturally they adore black, and took it home with them happily.

In the past, I found dealing with presents that I didn’t like very difficult, and usually dithered for ages before throwing them out or passing them on to someone more appreciative.

Nowadays, I have become quite ruthless. Everything I get and don’t like, either gets handed on immediately, or it goes into a big drawer where I keep all the stuff I am planning on giving away in the future. There are gifts I have already scheduled for a niece’s next birthday next to some pretty candles and napkins I keep in store for surprise invitations. And there are the white elephants from Christmasses and birthdays past, which, by the way, do get thrown out if I haven’t found a new use for them after a year or two.

Fortunately, my family tends to be very open about what they would like to have for Christmas, and are not averse to suggestions from me either. This means there are next to no unwanted gifts within the family, and should one not please after all, we feel we can point this out in a polite but open manner.

The one sort of gift I am almost impossible to please with, are toiletries. I am strictly a shower person, yet almost every year someone gives me bath salts (at work and from distant family, I should add). On the other hand, I adore scented soap bars, but for some reason they have gone out of fashion as a gift, and I hardly ever get one. So sad! (And no, I don’t think I anyone I know reads this blog – more’s the pity. ;-) )

Do you re-gift? And what sorts of presents do you find most awkward to deal with?

– Rike Horstmann

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