It’s been a few weeks since Christmas has passed.
One by one, your neighbors have taken down their lights and chucked their trees to their curb. Inside your home, the shiny glow of the holiday season has worn off, and you’re looking at your pile of presents with sober eyes.
You’ve tried on new clothes, flipped through new books, tinkered with new gadgets, and played with new toys. And — in the midst of enjoying your Christmas haul — you’ve found a few duds. Gifts that just aren’t you or don’t fit in with your life.
It’s not that you don’t love the people who gave you those gifts or the thought they’ve put into them. Maybe your friends missed the mark with your tastes, or the gifts would have been perfect for you at a different time in your life.
It’s hard to think about getting rid of any gift. Besides, isn’t that horribly rude?
You’re not throwing the gift back at the giftee or telling her that it’s not what you want. You’ve offered that person a heartfelt “Thank you!” for generously giving you something that she thought you’d love. Now that gift is 100% yours, and you’ve got the freedom to manage your worldly goods how you see fit.
Need more convincing?
Why You Should Ditch Some of Your Gifts
Every item you possess claims some of your . . .
You’ll likely need to sacrifice some area of your home, car, or office to store or display the gift. Some closet space to store your funky sweater, a shelf for your kooky knick-knack, or a drawer for your 12-in-1 kitchen gadget.
You may need to maintain the gift by dusting or washing it. You might need to spend time in order to use the gift, whether it’s a gift card or a DVD you feel compelled to watch.
Yes, money. You may wind up spending extra cash to use a restaurant gift card when your meal exceeds the card’s value or the eatery is 50 miles away. You might need to pick up special cleaning agents for jewelry or dry clean that new blouse. Your new gadget might demand accessories (at cost to you) or suck up electricity.
If you’re committed to a strict new year’s diet and you’ve been given buckets of Christmas cookies, you probably feel at least somewhat guilty if you don’t sample at least a few of them. If you’re decided to give up video games for Lent, you’ll wonder whether you should spend time with your new collection of games anyway.
What to Ditch Without the Guilt
Anything that you simply won’t use or enjoy. That’s it.
- If you’ve stuffed a new shirt in a drawer to die, take it out and toss it into your “sell or donate” pile. Someone else might love it or be grateful to wear it.
- Got a book you’ll never read — or one you’ll only read once? Sell it on eBay or Amazon. Donate it to your local library. Give it to a friend . . . one who will love it — not one who will then have a gift she dislikes too!
- Take the plethora of Christmas cookies into the office or to your next club meeting and let your friends enjoy the bounty.
- Let Goodwill pick up that furniture piece that doesn’t match your decor.
- You don’t eat at that restaurant chain? Sell your gift card for cash, and use the money for something you do love.
Whatever you do, don’t ignore your resolution to live a less cluttered, more organized, and more focused life. Protect your space, your time, your money, and your sanity while letting certain gifts bring joy to other people in the world.
What have you gotten this holiday season that you plan to part with?