Friday, December 30, 2016

The art of being Organized-Gift placement

(C) 2016 P. Lynne Designs
Well, well, well, look at all of those gifts.  You sure got a lot, now didn’t you? 
It is a wonderful thing to get gifts for Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza, Festivus, or even your birthday.  (10 points of you had a combo month - you know the drill-Birthday + any two holidays, 20 if you throw in Thanksgiving = Thanksbirthanuzafestmas*).  Let the food coma begin.  Nothing like the coming of the new year to throw it into overdrive.
Fact: this is the worst time of the year for anyone with food allergies, Gluten intolerance, or diabetics.
Once New Year’s Day is over with, it is time for normalcy to kick in.  Kids go back to school, parents go back to work, and the daily routine schedule commences.  My question is, “where did you put all those presents from December 2016”?  If you do not know, perhaps you are not as organized as you think you are.  Have you even used them yet?  If the answer is yes, good job.  If not, why?
What to do with the gifts?
I know, silly question but I am here to help you out.  You can do several things with gifts.  You can use it, re-gift it (it is not rude to do so). You can return it. Make sure you get a gift receipt, know the store from where the gift was purchased AND their policy, and a good excuse to the gifter on why you are returning it in the first place. (Saying that it is ugly is NOT a good excuse).  You could also sell it.
Have a gift card to a store you do not shop at?  You could try the store out, after all, you may like it, or there are several online places that will exchange the gift card for the one you like, or get a Visa, American Express, or MasterCard gift card. (I have not seen a Discover Card gift card as of yet.)
If you decide to keep said gift…
Please use it.  Nothing is more embarrassing than the gifter standing in long lines just to get you the perfect gift and you do not look at it.  Do not use it out of pity either.  Store the gift in its proper place.  If you do not have a place for it, create one.  Find a like item (something you already have that is in common with the gift).  For instance, my father got me a purse for Christmas.  I am not crazy about the color combination, but I love that I can put my mini Ipad in the main compartment of the purse.  My phone fits up front, and my wallet fits inside with the Ipad.  I do not carry tons of makeup, so when I do, it will fit as well.  I will carry the purse until it is time for the season to change, then I will store it with my other purses.  Now it has a home.  I store my purses in my bedroom closet.
There is another place…
To put an unwanted gift.  You do not need any monitory value for it at all.  Donate the item.  Most places like consignment shops, thrift stores, and shelters take gently used items to give to those without a whole lot of money.  Some places will pay you money for your unwanted gift, like consignment shops and shops like New Uses, but do not expect a lot of money for the precious item.
Back in the summer, I needed some money, so I decided to try New Uses.  I had some retired Longaberger baskets to unload (8), so I decided to give New Uses a try.  Longaberger baskets are worth a lot of money, but the total I would have received from New Uses was a whopping $27.72, had I taken the money.  I was expecting around $200.00 tops.  The buyer explained to me that they go by the size and shape of the baskets, NOT what it is worth. In other words, the value.  She held up the smallest basket and said that it is was worth $2 by itself.  I was so heated, until I grabbed all the baskets, and got out of there. 
Thrift stores do not pay, at least in Columbus, Ohio.  Your best option is to simply donate the gift.  While you are at it, clean out your closets, so your gift would not be lonely.  The donation alone makes a great tax write-off for the end of the year.  My church’s denomination, The United Methodist Church has a free store on the south end of the city.  Those who are in need go there to get gently used items, and it is like a store, where products are set up on shelves or hanging on racks.  The only difference is the people pay nothing for the product, eliminating the stigma of not having any money to pay for a new doll or a new pair of pants.  All you, the donator needs to do, is drop off the products for the people to “purchase”.  Of course, you get a receipt for the items you donate, and you present that receipt to your tax preparer.

You have received so much in one day, make the most out of it.  Maybe you have not, and this holiday season was such a struggle for you. Perhaps you do not celebrate any holidays or birthdays for whatever reason you choose to, or it was something you were taught.  Whatever the reason, whatever the thought process to the gift you received, and whatever the gift is or was (remember Hanukah and Kwanza are still being celebrated as I type this), always remember that it is the thought that counts, and it is better to give than receive.  Give to others and receive the present of family and friends, for those are lasting memories.  Time is very precious.  Make good use of it.

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