Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Gift of Guilt

Are you holding on to toys never used or enjoyed by your child that you didn’t purchase? Are your closets overflowing with linens and Precious Moments figurines from your dear Aunt Frances?

When friends and family give you or your family a gift there seems to be this terrible feeling of guilt if you were to even think about throwing away, donating or re-gifting, no matter how unnecessary the item is.

The time has come to free yourself from Gift Guilt. If your home is becoming unmanageable because you are holding onto items you don’t use or need then where is the gift in that?

Tackling the tricky Gift issue is tough. We hear it all the time “I hate that thing, but my Father-in-law gave it to me, I can’t get rid of it- I feel bad” or “We keep getting so many toys from my parents and we just don’t have the room. I don’t know what to do.”

The people who give you gifts love you and want you and your family to be happy. If these gifts are making your life harder then it’s time to do something about it.

Here are some great suggestions for ridding your life of Gift Guilt.

Address it head on with honesty:

Talk to the generous person and suggest alternatives. This seems gauche but as a person who loves to give gifts, I’d much rather the receiver enjoy what I’m spending my money on. For instance for a gift for kids, suggest intangibles such as donating to a college fund or giving the gift of an experience like rock climbing or movie tickets.

Keep on Giving:

Making charitable donations can be a great way to avoid altogether receiving a present you will never use or don’t have the room to keep and will consequently feel guilty about giving away. Really research what you feel passionate about and see if your gift can go to help others.

Be Specific, B-E-Specific:

On shower, birthday and holiday invites you can make it easy for the giver and make it work for you by directing people to the items you really need. Registries aren’t just for weddings and babies anymore.