Overcome the Guilt of Donating Unwanted Gifts

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December 8, 2021
By: Katie McCann

I love the Holiday season and nearly everything about it.  From the decorations to the music to the family and friends downtime, it’s just a great time of year. But, like many others, there are times I feel guilt over the influx of unnecessary gifts I receive. A gift is always a lovely and generous thought. But sometimes, not really something the recipient even wanted in the first place. Gifts that aren’t really your thing provide a great reason to donate them to organizations that are in need. To overcome the guilt of donating a gift that a loved one took the time and effort to pick out for you, try keeping the following in mind.

The Purpose of a Gift

The true purpose of a gift is for both the giver and receiver to feel great about the item. If you don’t particularly love a gift, it already served it’s purpose of making the giver feel selfless and generous. An item you’re just meh over could turn out to be someone’s else’s favorite shirt for example – it might be easier to part with the item if you think in these terms.

Repurpose Clothing

A particularly difficult item to buy for someone else is clothing. If you receive a gift that doesn’t fit you properly or just isn’t your style, consider donating it to such organizations as Goodwill, PickUpPlease or charitable institutions such as a women’s shelter or church.

Changing careers can also present a situation where you no longer need or use your entire wardrobe. My sister gave me my first suit as a gift but I now no longer have use for it in a non-corporate environment. I was able to donate it to First Step Job Training Program, which provides homeless and low-income women interview appropriate clothing they may otherwise be unable to afford.

Letting Go of Sentimental Items

Many times, family members buy a loved one clothing for a very special occasion that is ultimately worn only once such as a prom, wedding, communion or baptism outfit. As these items are generally very expensive, some families cannot afford to invest in buying them. You can donate these items to such organizations as Brides Across America or WGirls. Think of how great it would feel knowing your clothing you no longer use would make someone feel beautiful and special on such an important day.

We are all very lucky to have the option and luxury to donate gifts we don’t have a real use for. This Holiday season, feel free to donate such items to benefit those who may not be as fortunate.

What other types of donated gifts would others benefit from?