Christmas Present

The Christmas (Re) Gift Guide

How to ‘dispose’ of those ‘unique’ gifts

Waste not want not, so they say, but does that apply to Christmas gifts? We’ve all been the recipient of socks or handkerchiefs once or twice, but what do you do when you receive a gift that you have absolutely no use for at all?

Before you rush to upload the Hawaiian shirt Nan gave you to eBay, you might want to read our rules on Christmas gift etiquette.

  1. The first, and most obvious, rule is to never re-gift the unwanted gift to the original gift giver. Now this might seem like a given, but you’d be surprised at how easily this can occur. To avoid such a faux pas, first remove any evidence of the original gift giver. Get rid of attached cards or gift tags, and then use a small sticker that can be easily removed to write the original gift giver’s name on it – just be sure to remove the sticker before re-gifting!
  2. It’s also in poor taste to mention your disdain for your unwanted gift. Remember, it’s the thought that counts, so the fact this person went out of their way to get you a gift should be more than enough.
  3. If you’re going to donate your unwanted gift, do so right away. There’s no point shoving it in the closet and allowing it to collect dust for months, or even years, before eventually getting rid of it. Don’t feel guilty donating your unwanted gift if you are sure you will never get any use from it – it’s going to a good cause and it’s better than it ending up in the landfill! There are many ways you can donate, including to a charity thrift shop or school or community raffle.
  4. If you choose to sell your unwanted gift, there are a few things you can do to ease the guilt. Instead of spending the profit on yourself, why don’t you use it to purchase a gift for the original gift giver and set it aside until their birthday? Or even make a donation to your favourite charity, because as we all know, Christmas is the season for giving.


Zarraffa’s customers share the worst gift they’ve ever received …
*Names have been withheld to protect the innocent (or should that be guilty)?

“An IOU note from Santa. I guess the workshop was struggling to meet demand that year …”

“My husband received multivitamins with extra iron from his parents. The only issue is he has long suffered from haemochromatosis, a condition that requires him to have iron drained from his blood monthly.”

“A voucher for a scuba diving course … shortly after I had punctured my lung and was told I would never be allowed to scuba dive for my entire life.”

“My parents give me a tube of sunscreen every year. I suppose it’s useful, the sun in WA is pretty harsh!”

“One year I got an iron. I hate ironing and I literally iron NOTHING.”

“Juggling balls and a young magician’s kit … for my 18th birthday.”

“A framed photo of the gift giver (just the giver).”

“I was expecting an engagement ring from my boyfriend but got a fishing rod. The relationship ended shortly after.”

“I’m a teacher and received a pencil sharpener shaped like a statue of a cat. Guess where you put the pencil in? Clue: it wasn’t its mouth …”

“My husband received a book that he had given to the gift giver years ago.”

“My brother gave me a toothbrush and toothpaste, as he needed them and knew I would throw them back at him.”

“Bust firming cream. Intensive strength.”

“A book on bad taxidermy. I’ve never been, nor have I ever expressed an interest in taxidermy.”

“I get a sarong every year from mother-in-law. I hate sarongs and have never worn any of them.”

“A Christmas card from my dad. With the wrong name on it.”

“My mother-in-law gave me a giant tub of washing powder and said maybe now you’ll do some washing.”

“I gave someone a Dr Phil relationship book one year. She didn’t appreciate it. I was just trying to be helpful!”