Our Gift to You . . . A Happy Organized New Year!

Our Gift to You . . . A Happy Organized New Year!  

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Are we obligated to keep unwanted holiday gifts?

Many people keep and hold onto items because they were received as gifts. According to writer Richard Bach, “Every gift from a friend is a wish for your happiness.” But what happens when a gift we receive isn’t wanted?

Merriman-Webster defines a gift as, “something voluntarily transferred by one person to another without compensation.” We can breakdown that definition. Another person, VOLUNTARILY, gives me something, which I don’t pay for, and it is transferred to me, in other words it becomes my property–I own it.

Let’s apply that definition to everyday life. My Aunt Edna, a fictitious character but stay with me, gave me something for my birthday. It was a gift she took the time to buy and wrap neatly in paper with a bow. She smiled when she handed it to me–she was delighted to give it. I opened it wondering all the while what could be inside, but did it really matter what was inside that pretty box? No, it sure didn’t.

Do you remember playing Mad Libs where you fill in your own words to make a story? My, (insert name here), gave me a, (insert item here), for my, (insert occasion here), and now what do I do with it? Do I want it? Can I use it? If I can’t use it, can someone else use it? Can I return it? What DO I do with it?

Let’s go back to Richard Bach’s sententia, “a gift is a wish for [my] happiness.” I was happy to see my Aunt Edna’s smile and I was touched she thought of me and presented me with a gift. Merriam-Webster says I now own the gift; it is my property. So, the happiness was given and now I own property. That property is mine to do with as I see fit.

Should I shove that gift in a drawer/closet or pile it in the attic/basement because I feel guilty and anxious about parting with it? No. It is now mine to do with as I please.

Like most of us, I have received a lot of gifts over the years. Some items I still use. Other items I used to the point they had to be recycled, and those items were quite possibly made into a gift for someone else.  Some items I returned, donated, or gave the gift to a friend. Do I feel bad about it? Absolutely not. According to Bach I never used, returned, or gave away the gift–I always kept the happiness.

Some people wish their friends/family would give them restaurant gift cards or food items. They would prefer to receive consumable goods that won’t clutter their home.  I like the old saying, “The best gift you can give is a hug: one size fits all and I am always happy to return it!”

-Jenny Power, Absolutely Organized

Organizing Tool Kit

Top 3 Things to do with  Unwanted Gifts


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