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We’ve all probably been dropping hints the last few months, pointing at things in shop windows, slipping them into conversation and hoping that our family and friends know what we want for Christmas. But there are chances are you could get a naff looking jumper, ill-fitting underwear, enough smellies to fill a bath and a book you’ll never read. Put simply, you might not love every last thing you get this Christmas.

But don’t feel down – there are plenty of ways of moving your unwanted gift on. So smile politely, thank whoever got you that gift, and read our guide on what to do with any presents you don’t want.

Return it

Contrary to what we think, shops aren’t obliged to take back unwanted items, unless they are faulty or damaged. But as a gesture of goodwill, many stores offer a refund or exchange for any items you don’t want. And during the Christmas period, they’ll often extend this, giving you longer to take back any extra gifts.

Each store has their own policy on returns. Marks and Spencer and John Lewis, for example, are famous for their generous terms and conditions. But if you want to be sure of getting a refund, get hold of a receipt.

If you’re too embarrassed to ask the gift giver for the receipt, explain to the store it’s an unwanted gift. Most shops will offer a gift receipt or exchange, as long as it’s within the refund or exchange period. This varies from store to store, so it’s best to check the returns policy for the store you’re visiting. Last year, many stores were accepting unwanted gifts with a receipt until 31 January.

The gift that keeps giving

If you don’t want the hassle of returning the item, why not keep hold of it and think about who might appreciate it as a future birthday present or for another occasion? This can save you money in the future, as you won’t have to buy a gift for someone else.

Just be careful you don’t give it back to whoever got you the gift in the first place – make a note and put that away with the item!

Sell it online

No doubt many of us are feeling burnt out following the Christmas period. So you could stay at home, avoid stores and sell your unwanted gifts online.

Check out sites such as eBay where you can buy and sell almost anything. Or if you have any books, games, CDs or DVDs, try a specialist marketplace like musicMagpie.

Think charity

Christmas is the time for giving and there are many who are less fortunate than us. So why not pass on any unwanted gifts to a worthy cause? You may already have a charity that’s close to your heart or you’ve considered helping out before – this is your chance.

Local charities will appreciate all collections. Or if you do sell stuff online, you could donate the cash you raise and make someone else’s Christmas special.

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