Bag 10: Past Year’s Re-Giftables

Okay, here we go again. Time to lose the guilt and abandon sentiment.

Take a big shopping bag and go around the house filling it up with stuff you don't actually like or have moved on from liking.

Never mind that it was a gift. It's the thought that counts, so keep that.

Note: handmade stuff that the giver gave you within the last couple years and which you know they'd be horrified if they found you'd given it away or sold it should probably be given back to the maker. It's a tough call, but if the "it just doesn't fit me/my home" conversation is going to be less painful for them than the discovery that you tossed the giant portrait of your face they laboriously made out of your favorite flavors of jelly beans, then fess up that you value them and their kindness and their friendship, but just don't have a place for the gift anymore.

Take the plunge and purge the stuff that makes you sigh with resignation when you look at it. Just think how nice it will be to never have to see it again!

Author: dinahsanders

Author. Discardian. Defender of life, liberty, & the pursuit of happiness. she/her

6 thoughts on “Bag 10: Past Year’s Re-Giftables”

  1. The big plastic bag is on the front porch waiting for the trek to Goodwill. If I don’t see it in the house, I won’t poke through and drag stuff out again.

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  2. Wow — I’d have to get it further out of sight than the front porch, to keep myself out of the bag of discards. 🙂
    I do have some problems with the “give it back to the maker” idea. That’s too confrontational for me; I’d rather just put the item away somewhere, if I couldn’t bear to keep it out, until it was old enough that I could get rid of it in reasonable consience.
    Of course I have a basement and an attic….

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  3. A handmade gift is really a gift of time, so if someone you know can make fabulous things isn’t, I feel like you should tell them, just not when you open the gift. As a knitter, I hear all these ungrateful relatives stories — the sister-in-law whines that her baby sweater isn’t cashmere and rejects a gift that took a month to make — but I know that crafters often make stuff that they enjoy more than the recipient does. I point blank tell my relatives and friends if they ever want something specific, just ask. Don’t confront the crafter, but head them off at the pass. If Aunt Edna is definitely making you another awful acrylic sweater that you’re not going to wear, flip through pattern books and magazines ’til you find something you’d like and ask if that’s too much for her to make. Offer to buy your crafters nicer materials or hint that red is your favorite color. Be sure that whatever you’re asking for, that it’s something that they can reasonably make — it’s no use showing a fabulously complicated fair-isle sweater pattern to someone who gave you a beginner’s scarf last week. No matter what, compliment them on the thing that they got right, even if it’s just taking the time to make you something special.
    As for the really kitschy stuff, I would hide it for a year and then call them up and get a good laugh out of it. No one expects you to keep a gag gift forever. If they don’t realise they gave you a gag gift, I would quietly get rid of it… If you really want to do good with your gifts, there are a lot of charities that take handmade clothes — Afghans for Afghans and Seaman’s Church come to mind. I’m sure other crafts have similar charities, rather than dumping someone’s hard work at the thrift store.

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  4. Hi! Maybe I’m the only one that links Discardia from Italy.
    I find it a very pleasant and useful holiday, and I really like reading your peaceful way to approach things, Dinah.
    I will celebrate till January 18 but over… I have so much stuff to get rid of that it’s already six months that I’m working over it!
    Some items are very difficult to cope with, and I need your help!
    So I will go on reading you in search for advises and peacefulness.
    Receive my best wishes for New Year and my compliments for inventing (and sharing) your brilliant idea!

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  5. PS. Your antispam robot told me that my language is not your preferred… I apologize if my english is so bad. hope you can understand anyway!

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