IMG_8183

By Louise Fandino of Mommy Practicality

Let me start this article by greeting you a warm Happy New Year!

As I write this, I am certainly back to work from my well-spent and fully-enjoyed holiday break. Up until this morning while preparing my son for school, cooking breakfast and packing my and hubby’s lunch packs, I asked these in my mind:

“Is it really over?”

“You think it’s too much to take a leave from work today?”

“Am I ready to be back to my life’s regular programming?”

Do you feel the same way? If not, good for you! If you do, give me a high-five then! I must admit that I’m still in a holiday daze. Because of this, I will be talking about holiday gifts, specifically, what to do with these thoughtfully and beautifully wrapped gifts to us from our families, friends, colleagues and even business partners.

grift-wrap-decor-christmasPhoto Source

Last Christmas, I received different kinds and I am thankful for all of them. I was able to categorize them into: 1) Edibles (cookies, cakes, coffee, fruits, wine, and the list goes on), 2) Non-edible (make-up, home décor, dining ware, clothes, bags, planner, book, and the list goes on too!) While some still have space at home to keep all of them, others wish to be more space efficient and practice practicality. If you belong to the group who’s thinking where to put or what to do with all these thoughtful holiday gifts, I have great news for you! I’ve listed some simple and practical solutions on what to do with all these holiday gifts.

Eat or drink.

The best thing about edible gifts is that they are consumable. First solution: EAT the fruits, cakes, cookies or DRINK the bottle of wine or the brewed coffee. Make sure you check the expiration before consuming them. Next, after knowing when these are best to be consumed, you may take in first those with the nearest expiration dates.

Sure, eating or drinking all of them may ruin your diet plans this year, but I didn’t say eat or drink them yourself. My second solution on edibles, SHARE. Will you still be having a post-holiday reunion with friends and their children? Serve the cookies, cakes, sweets and whatever you have been gifted with. Apart from putting the holiday gift to good use, you make tummies full and your friends happy. You may also bring these boxes of yummy goodness to the office and share with your colleagues as desserts after lunch or during coffee breaks.

Use.

My favorite holiday gift was a 2015 planner, which I got from the Monito-Monita exchange gift in the workplace. I particularly wrote the specific planner on the wish list and I am happy to receive it. I really believe in gift wish list because it’s practical and you get what you really need or want. If you received a gift which is functional, purposeful, practical, and helpful to your daily grind, then use it. A notebook and a pen are always useful gifts for me. Same goes for a wallet, a bag, a watch or jewel, scarves, home decors and even lunch kits! These are thoughtful holiday gifts which are truly useful and could be helpful tools in making lives easier, our homes organized and beautiful, and our daily tasks systematic and efficient.

Recycle.

Did you get three 2015 planners or desk calendars or maybe five umbrellas from family and friends? How about the same shade of lipsticks or too many bed sheets? Lastly, appliances which you already have (and are still working optimally), an item you think you cannot ever use (for example, a coffee-maker but you don’t drink coffee) or a holiday gift which you would need to dedicate a storage but you unfortunately have limited space at home? What to do with them? Recycle these thoughtful holiday gifts to family or friends whom you think need it more than you do.

There is nothing wrong with recycling gifts especially if you think that the duplicate items you received will be put to better use or will be given to recipients whom you think need it. I think it’s better to re-gift these holiday presents to special people in our lives maybe during their birthdays, anniversaries or for no occasions at all, than to store them at home and never get to use them until these items expire, become defective, stain or discolor due to long storage. It’s not that you don’t want these gifts, it’s actually the other way around. You badly want them all, but you have too much of it, so it’s better to share your blessings to people you care about! Just remember these important rules of recycling gifts I lifted from epicurious.com

  • Never re-gift an item you already used.
  • Carefully check the item before recycling it. Things to check are: gift notes inside the box, if personalized and lastly if damaged.
  • No way that you’ll let the person who gifted you the item for recycling know that you’re re-gifting it.
  • Wrap the gift very nicely and don’t forget to include a thoughtful message.

Now, were you able to let out that sigh of relief for knowing better what to do with all your holiday gifts? That’s great! Go ahead now EAT, USE or RECYCLE them and don’t forget to be thankful for these blessings!