Re-gifting: green giving this Christmas


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Is she mean, or is she green?

This Christmas an astonishing 52% of people are expected to pass on an unwanted gift on to a friend, colleague or acquaintance. Many more will donate presents to their local charity shop.

Gift boxesBoxing day is a traditional day of gifting, when servants and tradesman would receive a Christmas box from their bosses. For many of us, it is the traditional day of putting away those unwanted Christmas presents, to be re-gifted in the future to people that may appreciate them more.

So, you got smellies but have sensitive skin? Or three copies of the same book? Or milk chocolates when you have been vegan for years? What is the best way to make sure that your unwanted gifts go to someone that would appreciate them?

One nice idea, adopted by CAT friends in Brighton, is to take an unwanted handbag and fill it with toiletries, sanitary wear and treats and give to a homeless woman.

Every town and city has charity shops that are grateful recipients of unwanted goods at this, or any time of year.

Appropriate clothing can be donated to any number of refugee charities – waterproofs, warm clothes, socks and new underwear are most welcome. Mobile phones are invaluable to people fleeing war and torture.

Food items can be donated to your local food bank, especially nice treats rather than the ubiquitous tins of baked beans.

Unwanted gifts can be put to one side for the inevitable school raffle prize.

Many people keep a drawer of presents, for those last minute surprises. Just make sure that you label who they were originally from – it’s bad form to re-gift a present back to the person that gave it to you!

Re-gifting – what’s not to like? It keeps consumer items out of landfill. It will make someone else happy. It stops new items being made.

Just make sure to follow the golden rule: don’t give Nana those oversized handknitted socks that she gave you last year!

More information:
List of refugee charities: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/sep/03/refugee-crisis-what-can-you-do-to-help
Charity shops near you: http://www.charityretail.org.uk/find-a-charity-shop/
Homeless charities: http://www.charitychoice.co.uk/charities/housing/homeless?onlinedonations=0
Find your nearest foodbank: http://www.trusselltrust.org/map

(Research by Menulog, Nov. 2015)