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How have you recycled a gift you don't want?

"Cocoa is so happy when he gets to tear up a stuffed animal!" my daughter Claire said about her dog.

Last year, hiking partner Gro gave me wool arm warmers for Christmas. Arm warmers? Must be a Scandinavian thing. Bemused, I politely thanked her. But...

  1. I'm allergic to wool.
  2. They itch like crazy.
  3. Too bulky and heavy to carry on hikes.

Today for Cocoa, I got two beef and cheese-flavored dog "bones" and sewed them inside the arm warmers. He will love tearing them up! A great way to recycle a gift I don't want.

Here are Claire, Matt and Cocoa at their wedding last September at Lake Chelan.

How have you recycled gifts you don't want?

By LiterateHiker8
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I'm a musician. If it's free, l'm keepin' it.

Sticks48 Level 9 Dec 21, 2018

As a knitter, I would prefer that people tell me that they cannot use or accept anything I make for them so I can be the one to replace it and give it to someone else who would appreciate it. I would be very miffed if someone destroyed what I handmade, and of course, I would never make that mistake twice.

Wool is very expensive and the time to knit is not without care and love...for example, I made my niece a scarf that cost $75 in materials and took me over 4 hours to basically, a scarf over $100...

That being said...once given, the gift is no longer mine, so do what you want...and yes, I have recycled many gifts...or just passed them on...


I gave it to Goodwill. Problem solved!

Good idea, but I avoid Goodwill.

There’s always the Salvation Army.


Depending on the gift, the intent, and the person, I'll either tell them outright and offer for them to keep it, chuck it out, or use it in a secret santa/raffle type thing.

My favourite is when I got some lovely bubble bath (I don't have a tub, just a shower cubicle), regifted it to another friend, and they regifted to the original person, all for the same Christmas!

ChazH Level 4 Dec 21, 2018

@ChazH Great regifting story! I hope that everyone was honest about regifting.


I won some MINI puddle lights in my MINI Cooper club. I didn't want to bother installing them, so I re-gifted them the following Christmas. My girlfriend gave me some Grizzle Bear socks, I pointed out that the socks were medium and I verge on XL. Since they were her size, she tried them on, decided they were ugly.


I recycled an ugly elephant shaped tea pot my mother gave me to Goodwill. Does that count? LOL


Why not host or go to a 'white' elephant party. You can wrap up the gift and someone else can be the lucky recipient. Be warned, thou, it can backfire. A friend held such a party every year and one day, in a thrift store I spotted two porcelain white elephants and bought them and gave them to someone at the party. It was really funny. But somehow, years later those 2 elephants came back to me.


In senior year of high school one of my friends was a barista at a somewhat historical coffee shop. It was noted as being a restaurant diner where Elvis got accosted by so many jealous rednecks that he swore he'd never play in Kingsport again. Bob Dylan also had a song about leavin ol Kingsport town with a high sheriff on his trail, so apparently being a rock n roll or beatnik type was enough to make instant enemies around here in the 50s and 60s, but I digress.

The reopened coffeeshop had a nice collection of antique books on a shelf for perusal or for sale. The two that caught my eye were from the late 19th and early 20th century: a book cataloging card games from back when blackjack was still called Vingt Un (french for 21 I think), and a first edition of collected short stories by O Henry.

My friend saw me admiring these two and gifted me the book on card games, very thoughtful. But originally the reason I had been eying it was as a gift for another friend, who taught me a lot of what I know about chess, poker, euchre, hearts, spades etc. I would have loved the O Henry book if I was buying for myself. As it was my original intention to gift the card book, I didnt feel too bad passing it along to my other friend. I wrote a nice dedication to him on the blank page with a stanza of a 1908 poem by Grantland Rice:

"Keep coming back, and though the world may romp across your spine,
Let every game's end find you still upon the battling line;
For when the One Great Scorer comes to mark against your name,
He writes - not that you won or lost - but how you played the Game."

Wurlitzer Level 8 Dec 21, 2018

Dvds which I either don't want, or are duplicates of one's I have go to the local library.


Cocoa❤️ Ur daughter is beautiful. That Dress!!!!


My daughter Claire is half Spanish. Thanks for your compliment!

I made Cocoa's satin boxtie. Cocoa is goofy and lovable. So, I made the bowtie big to look comical like him.


The back of Claire's wedding dress is exquisite.

@LiterateHiker ohhhh it is!! It looks like beads on some pieces?? Great pics!


I love Cocoa's bow tie! ?

Lutherzme Level 8 Dec 21, 2018


I made Coco's satin, bow tie. Made it comically large to match his goofy, loving personality.



Lake Chelan -- what a lovely place. smile001.gif


Almost never happens. As a long-time minimalist, since well before it became a thing, I've gotten people to either 1) give me nothing physical and 2) if they insist, it be consumable, cigars or liquor. On those rare occasions where that doesn't happen, I either find someone to give it to or donate to charity. The latter happens rarely, and not for years.



My wife just looked for an old gift she once got from our daughter, a gift wrapped lump of coal. It was a joke from our daughter, but Anna wanted to give it to a teacher who is not empathetic towards her students. The wrapping had become tattered, and she decided not to regift it.

EdEarl Level 8 Dec 21, 2018

Refund = buy yourself or another something..... Re-gift secretly to another. ...impossible to regift/secretly explain to sender Or seal up gift


My family has a large xmas party, and part of our fun is a "white elephant" exchange. Many of us buy something new, but after moving last year and trying to get rid of a lot of stuff (I downsized to a house half the size of what I'd sold), I had several things I wanted to re-gift. One item was an electric gravy boat that was a great idea, but far too small for me when I entertain (it only held about 2 Cups of gravy), so I took it to our xmas party. My mother ended up with it, and she had been the one to give it to several of us "kids", so at least she didn't know it was from me! I don't like to be an ingrate, but sometimes a gift just is not wanted, or not something we can use!

Rustee Level 7 Feb 24, 2019

Neither idea below is regifting, but the first one worked out just fine for me.

For my birthday in Feb 2016, I received a $100 gift card to Menards. I never shop at that store, so I sold it off for $80.

This Christmas, I already recieved a $50 gift card to Texas Roadhouse. Would be very weird for me to go dinner, by myself. I'm single and pretty much a loner. So I am considering selling the card off for $40.

If you don't want to eat out alone, they can always make it to go!


Yes but only if I think its appropriate. I have been known to stash gifts in my closet and wait a few years before re-gifting. Sometimes I forget they are there.


I got homemade biscotti that I can't eat due to celiac disease. My friend doesn't know me well enough to know that. It was very sweet that he left it on my door step. I told the story to a friend and asked her if she wanted it and she was happy to take it.

Another time someone left homemade cookies on my doorstep. There was no note and no one ever identified themselves as the giver. I threw them away. What else can you do?

Yes,without knowing who from,a big risk in; Poisoning? Allergies? Someone who's vindictive,you've angered in the past?

@Mike1947 Or maybe the person is just a bad cook.


I donate & take the tax write off.


Oh, yes. My first wife gave me several. One was a musical beer stein which I never touched. Another was a shirt and sweater combination, the colors of which were absolutely ghastly. She bought it the set only because it was marked down by a store in an attempt to get rid of it. And, there were more.

wordywalt Level 8 Dec 21, 2018

My friend gave me two expensive perfumes for my birthday. As I am allergic to bee stings, and never wear perfumes, I am looking for an opportunity to re-gift them.


In your case, as you're allergic to wool, there's nothing wrong in explain your case. Although it's ugly to be poor and ungrateful, in your case it's a health issue, I think the person would understand. I would.


Great thinking 99.

Jolanta Level 8 Dec 21, 2018
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