My Christmas list this year is long. And I haven't started on my Christmas shopping yet. But I've unearthed a few things in the attic that just might be "recycled" and "passed on" for Christmas this year. So, in effect, I have shaved off a few names from The List without spending a dime.
Yes, it maybe tacky to think but I recycle gifts every now and then. There are times when I'm stuck with several variants of something when I only need one or when I got one when I don't need it or I got one when I certainly DO NOT want one. Instead of letting it go to waste (or gather dust in the attic), it maybe a better idea to pass it on for others to enjoy. Or just get it out of the house.
However, there are a few rules I follow on recycling gifts.
1. Never recycle perishable food items. Or at least recycle them quickly. But fruitcakes are another thing, they have a shelf life of a century, give an take a few months.
2. I recycle only brand new, unused, unopened items given as a gift or brand new, unused, unopened items purchased during a temporary moment of weakness (or madness or sale frenzy.)
3. I give away secondhand items to family and friends who need it and not pass it on as a gift. I want a reaction of "Thank you lots" not "Are you nuts?" Or it'll be banished to the attic until the next garage sale.
4. Items with sentimental value are never recycled. Hubby would have my head.
5. I try to keep track of who gave what to avoid giving a gift back to the original giver. Talk about embarassing!
6. Open gift wrappers very carefully to prevent tears or open just enough to see whether you want to keep it. This makes rewrapping so much easier. However, make sure that the giver is not present. Otherwise, open the gift with gusto and then put it in another box and rewrap at an appropirate time.
7. T try to remove all cards, notes, inscription or anything that might reveal my recycling scheme. Be very thorough. Break the seal if you have to.
These tips are valuable after Christmas, when I get that 100th candle, mug, towel and fruitcake.