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Same Shit – Every Year

Whereas my classmates wrote about the way of establishing a new platform for commerce which can be used to purchase Christmas presents (Elisa) or the energy some high tech presents take (Hannah), for me, and I guess for a lot of us, a repeating question after Christmas is:

How come I always get stuff I neither want nor need at all?

However unsubtle our hints to family and friends were and how many numerous instructions we gave that they really needn’t bother getting us anything this year, chances are we unwrapped at least one gift we felt we don’t know what to do with.
Not only that we start to think about how people could even get the idea that we could have such a screwed-up taste – saying “Thanks, I wanted to have this for a really long time” with a bright smile on the face thinking I hate this stuff does not really make fun.

A recent research showed that we are sitting on £2.4 billion of unwanted Christmas presents, worth an average of £48 each.
Internet auction site eBay said disappointed friends and family were flogging unwanted gifts on Christmas morning with new listings hitting a peak at 10am just after most presents have been opened.

 The most unpopular gifts are clothing and accessories, beauty products, toiletries and jewellery.

What should you do if you have received one?
•    Return the item
•    Give it back
•    Sell it
•    Swap
•    Re-gift it
•    Give it to charity

1.)    Return –It’s worth a try
It is not obligatory for shops to offer a refund for unwanted presents, or even a credit note unless they are damaged or faulty – but luckily, in reality many of them do.
2.)    Give it back – Be careful!
This step requires a lot of honesty and must be taken very careful and I personally would rather not do it to not hurt the person who gave me the gift, but it still is an opportunity and there might be people appreciating the openness.
3.)    Resell: -Every product refers to a need
As this video shows, you can take profit out of the natural variance in people’s tastes (Thank God).

4.)    Swap-You’re not alone
You can either give a gift-swapping party to swap things you absolutely dislike for things on you wish list. Or get rid of stuff on swapping websites online:
fashion faux pas , games and consoles , everything else: tauschticket.de and viswapi.de

5.)    Re-gift it
You can either give it now, or wait, save it for a birthday or Christmas 2012.
But you should remind yourself with a note as to its giver  so as to avoid the obvious faux pas and perhaps not give to people very close to him as they might now about the presents.

6.)    Give it to charity – make someone else a pleasure

Your unloved could be a good gift to a local charity shop. Let it be books, CDs, games or clothes-they will be happy for everything they receive.
You won’t make any money, but instead can enjoy the feel-good factor that you’ve done your bit to help a good cause.

Charities struggling to raise funds will welcome your donations.

As Christmas is intended to be the holiday of love, for me the last point-“recycling” or “giving it to charity” is the most interesting and most important one.
This charity-solution of the unwanted-gifts problem is not yet established very well in Germany, but  for example in the United Kingdom.
Offering the gifts for less unfortunate who do not know the joy of this season as we know it, can free you from your bad conscience of having too high expectations for presents and can make them happy for at least a moment.

If you want to donate your things, visit Dublin Cathedral or Umsonstladen Plagewitz!

Leave a comment


  1. HannahJulianeVeronika

     /  December 29, 2011

    Hi Viola,

    such a great and funny post! You found a really good topic – everyone of us has probably received a gift that we hadn’t wished for. You did a great job with the different bullet points and especially your introduction made me laugh!

    There is also a nice way to get rid of unloved presents in Switzerland. You can send your gifts for free to people in Bulgaria who need your gifts more than yourself via the Swiss Post.


  2. Hey Hannah,
    thanks for your comment and the link you offered. I really appreciate such possibilities, as making money out of Christmas gifts does not fit my concept of the original meaning of the holiday of love.
    There should definitely rise more possibilities like the one you explained 🙂

  3. Hi Viola!
    Really great post and I could identify myself pretty much with this situation.
    Your text is nicely structured and you want to continue reading with a lot of interest! Even though some sentences are written in a rather complex way such as the second and third paragraph. Maybe try to split sentences the next time and they might become much easier to read for the reader!
    Your ideas/hints of how to cope with unwanted presents is cool, I might go with one of those next rather than nodding and smiling 🙂
    Last but not least: good choice of headline! Catches attention!

  4. Lucas

     /  December 30, 2011

    I have to admit that I was actually sitting here laughing because at christmas most of us are in this very situation and since returning a present is not an opportunity for everyone giving it to charity is a very good alternative. Switzerland is showing us one more time how this can be handled as Hannah mentioned.
    Also you applied a nice structure and the paragraphs made it easy to read though the sentence structure was not bothering me.
    Bullet points were used in a good way too.
    All in all there was nothing really to complain about or to be missed.

  5. Viola – it was really easy for me to read your post which must mean you had a really good choice of length and nicely structured paragraphs! :).
    The figures you gave about the loads of unwanted presents and the fact that people directly sell their unwanted presents on ebay somehow really made me laugh. I personally have never thought about re-selling gifts though, as I am also of your opinion: giving unwanted presents to charity is really a great thing!
    In Germany and Austria there’s a project called “Weihnachten im Schuhkarton” where everyone who wants to can donate a shoebox filled with stuff for children from poorer areas such as Eastern Europe and Asia. I think thats a really great thing to do for Christmas and as it is unforunately to late to use your unwanted presents from this Christmas for this great project, you can just keep them until next Christmas and put them into a shoebox then ;).
    Here’s the link to the project:

  6. Hey Viola.

    Wonderful and funny blog post! The topic was well chosen as we all got Christmas presents last week and probably we all got at least one present which we didn’t appreciate much. I liked how you got to the core of your topic and to the donation option. It was very nicely tought through!!! One awesome idea in my opinion is to return the undesired gift, get the money back and give a microloan to people in the third world. Check this out http://www.kiva.org

  7. A great post, Viola.
    You chose a perfect topic, for this time of the year. I liked how your post is very personal and emotional. It gives food for thought and you also provide some solutions for the presents we don’t need. Of course we all have them, i have a whole drawer of tiny-winy photo frames, ugly candles, all kinds of little boxes and jewelery i never wear. But i suppose if i would like to donate it to the people in the 3rd world, i’m pretty sure they don’t need them as well. They would only say again “I hate this stuff does not really make fun.” 🙂

    Nice that you give links to the posts of your groupmates, i’m going to use this tool as well in the future 🙂

  8. Katharina

     /  January 5, 2012

    Hi Viola!
    When I read the headline of your post, I was really caught. And I have to say that it is a very nice post. The length, in my opinion, is optimal and the structure very transparent and easy to follow.
    However, I have to admit that given the headline I was expecting something else. I thought you would choose a topic that goes into a little more depth. Instead, you presented something everyone already knows. Don’t get me wrong! You made the best out of it with the pictures, the video and the links! The problem is just that the atmosqhere and feeling of the header does not fit to the rest that is really friendly and optimistic. Maybe if you had just chosen a different one this would not be so obvious to me.

  9. juliajogs

     /  January 7, 2012


    I think you did a great job writing this post. Your headline is very striking, your pictures are well chosen and your introduction and your structure are excellent. I really like the way you lead the reader along a red thread through your writing and ideas and eventually ending up with (what I think) is you main intention: The donation of gifts you never wanted. One can say you chose I climax structure, which is great.

    Personally, I have never thought about this topic and therefore didn’t know anything about it. My one and only option was to put the things in any of my drawers and to throw it away when time was ripe. Now, I have to revise my options. Thank you!

  10. Thank you for your comments and proposals! It was far more reaction than I expected.
    Thanks as well for the links- I will definitely take your suggestions into consideration since the probability that at least one gift will not fit into my concept this year again is pretty high. (Can’t remember having experienced one so far)
    What is really interesting to me was the reaction concerning the content: Whereas some of you enjoyed the topic and could perfectly identify with it, for others it seemed not worth to write about, being well-known to everyone.
    I fully respect and appreciate the different opinions and enjoy how, in this way, we are learning from each other.


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