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Top 10 Ways to Repurpose a Bad Christmas Gift

December 26, 2017

We have all been on the receiving end of a bad gift. It’s a painfully awkward routine—the fake smile and trying your hardest to sound appreciative even though you couldn’t care less about the gift. Once that song and dance is over, you may have the impulse to go straight to the trash can, but there may be a better solution. Here are a few ways to redeem that bad gift instead of simply throwing it out.

1. Use Bad Books as Decorations.

Bookshelf by elvissa, on Flickr
Bookshelf” (CC BY 2.0) by elvissa

Take whatever self-improvement book you were given and proudly display it on your bookshelf. Of course, you didn’t read it, but nobody else knows that.

2. Cash in Unwanted Gift Cards.

Gift Cards by 401(K) 2013, on Flickr
Gift Cards” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by 401(K) 2013

Most people aren’t aware that there are a variety of services that will pay you cash for your gift cards. Of course, they take a percentage of the funds, but if you truly can’t buy anything you want with the card, it’s better than nothing at all.

3. Put Excess Candles to a More Practical Use.

candles by wolfsavard, on Flickr
candles” (CC BY 2.0) by wolfsavard

We have all been given a scented candle set from our good-intentioned coworker, but when it comes down to it, these gifts end up stored away until you get the same gift next year. Whether it be simple home improvement tasks, like unsticking a zipper, or some fun activities, like using the flame to reveal a secret message, unwanted candles can definitely be put to good use.

4. Make up Your Own Rules to Bad Board Games.

Board Game Café by ecodallaluna, on Flickr
Board Game Café” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by ecodallaluna

There is always that one Uncle that gifts a new board game each year. Sometimes he can hit a home-run, but when he doesn’t, it’s a great opportunity to exercise your creativity and see if you can’t make your own game out of the materials.

5. Rock the Resell for Unwanted Home Décor.

BARCS Yard Sale, September 2007 by sneakerdog, on Flickr
BARCS Yard Sale, September 2007” (CC BY 2.0) by sneakerdog

When your sweet Aunt gives you some wall art that just doesn’t fit your style, store it away until your next garage sale and see if you can’t sell it to somebody who can use it around their home.

6. Turn Tasteless Clothing into Yardwork Scrubs.

Pulling Weeds by Vegansoldier, on Flickr
Pulling Weeds” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Vegansoldier

Never be in shortage of clothes for working around the house again. Use that itchy sweater you were gifted the next time you mow the lawn. If it’s not appropriate for working, then possibly consider donating it rather than it just being tucked away in storage.

7. Feed Poorly Baked Goods to Your Kids (who Probably Can’t Tell a Difference).

shiny fudge by Joelk75, on Flickr
shiny fudge” (CC BY 2.0) by Joelk75

When you neighbor brings over their “famous” Christmas fudge that is too overcooked to bear, feed them to the kids. To be honest, chocolate is chocolate in their eyes.

8. Use Unwanted Kitchen Gadgets as Window Dressings.

Kitchen by dickdotcom, on Flickr
Kitchen” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by dickdotcom

If you know you can’t cook but still seem to get a shiny new set of pans under the tree this year, go ahead and put them on display anyway. Nothing looks nicer than a well-equipped kitchen, even if much of that equipment never gets put to use.

9. Use Bad Wine for Cooking.

Salmon for dinner by Lars Plougmann, on Flickr
Salmon for dinner” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Lars Plougmann

We know that you wouldn’t dare take a sip of a $6 bottle of wine. To save you that terrible experience, just set aside all incoming bottles to use for cooking later on. Here a few recipes that will make something delicious out of whatever two-buck chuck you are given this Christmas.

10. If All Else Fails, Re-gift.

Paper by rwkvisual, on Flickr
Paper” (CC BY 2.0) by rwkvisual

It may be frowned upon, but when it comes down to the wire before your next white elephant gift exchange, grabbing that untouched gift from your last Christmas party may be your best option. As far as last minute gifts go, one of our other lists may be able to help you out, too.

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