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The student news site of Colonia High School

The Declaration

The student news site of Colonia High School

The Declaration

Returning gifts is one of the biggest pains during the holidays, so re-gift

Have you ever gotten that one gift from grandma or someone else that made you believe in the saying, “You shouldn’t have”? Christmas gifts like an ugly sweater or an impractical gadget are not always fun to have, and yet we keep them. Why? It’s because returning gifts is a horrible experience.

Just a few years ago, I went to the mall on December 26th. Want to know what I’ll never do again? Go to the mall on December 26th. People are inconsiderate and walk around with bags of unwanted gifts. Exchanges are amazingly awful. Workers are doing their best to get as many returns done as possible, but the amount is overwhelming, and time is a precious commodity. Why can’t we just keep the gifts we received and re-gift them and force the problem onto another unsuspecting soul?

The coined term re-gifting has been around since the 1990’s, and is now a popular option for unwanted presents, and it’s a way better option than standing in a line at the mall. Even Oprah listed regifting on her 2008 Oprah’s Favorite Things list. In 2007, 68 percent of women regifted or thought about doing so. It’s an easy option, but it could be risky. What if your close friend comes over and wants to see the gift they got you, but you gave it to your mother instead of using it? What if the person you gave your present to notices that your name is on the “To” section of a sticker on the gift? One of the biggest rules of regifting: don’t get caught.

December 26th at the mall is crowded not because of Boxing Day (it’s only celebrated in a few countries); the mall is filled to the brim with people who can’t be satisfied with the gifts they received the day before. According to the Daily Mail, the amount of unwanted Christmas gifts totaled £2.1 billion ($3.4 billion) in 2011 in the UK, and there were two unwanted gifts per adult on average. These are quite large numbers. Would you want to stand in a line with hundreds of other people for hours so you can reach the one person manning the cash register so you could make $20 off of the face cream that Aunt Tilly bought you because she thought it would help with your acne? That doesn’t sound fun.

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Instead of returning, why not go for an exchange? That sweater might be worth a new fashionable one from Macy’s. Sounds like a great idea to me. But be wary, the salesperson may try to talk you into buying a new pair of pants and those gloves that match perfectly. Now you’ve wound up in credit card debt because you couldn’t just put the sweater in your closet. That’s how stores try to get people. They give sales so that the people that return the items have something to look at and hopefully buy. Last year, Toys “R” Us offered 75 percent off on some items as part of an after Christmas sale. Kohl’s even opened their stores at five in the morning the day after Christmas. Companies are fine with returned gifts, just as long as you shop at their stores and buy more than you need. They’ll find a way to make money off of you no matter how hard you try not to spend your money.

Don’t waste time exchanging or returning. If anything, re-gift the item to a friend or maybe a relative. Christmas is a hectic time, and I highly doubt that people want to wait on line for two hours to give back an item they received from a friend.  There’s always another possible solution – keep the gift in the house, and simply forget it’s even there.

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About the Contributor
Andy Kuchen, Media Manager & Reporter
Andy Kuchen, a published poet and senior at ColoniaHigh School, has been a writer for The Declaration for over a year and a half. His articles are mainly reviews of television series as well as films. Besides journalism, he is involved in filmmaking and the Interact Club at CHS. Kuchen is a hardworking and creative person. He can typically be spotted with an iPhone in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other.

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Returning gifts is one of the biggest pains during the holidays, so re-gift