You shouldn’t have, (I really wish you didn’t)

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I don’t think there really is such a thing as a bad gift.  Someone was kind enough to give me something that they thought I would like.  There are lots of people who don’t have anyone in their lives.  Just because you received a gift doesn’t mean I have to keep it forever.

One of my sisters pretends she loves a gift and keeps it for years dragging out the gift every time she sees the person.  Why pretend?  So you drag out the ceramic chicken statue out in preparation of a house visit.  Your guests see that you have a ceramic chicken proudly displayed in the middle of your coffee table and on your next birthday you get 3 more.  Fast forward 5 years and you look like a crazy ceramic chicken hoarder, how will you ever admit the truth now?  I am deeply suspicious to see my sister decked head to toe in gifts that I’ve bought her over the years.  I’ve called her out on it a few times, but she insists she likes the gifts. However, the tarnish on her silver necklace says otherwise.

My other sister likes to return un-wanted gifts.  I don’t mind this approach, however it takes more balls than I possess.  I prefer to avoid difficult conversations if possible, and trust me it is always possible.  Asking for the gift receipt doesn’t always work.  Those pesky early shoppers- the one that bought your Christmas gift in April will foil your plans every time.  What to do now that you are hopelessly outside of the store’s return policy? I guess some shops will give you a store credit, without a receipt but what to do with a credit at Ye Olde Clog Shoppe?

I take a different approach.  Previously I would hang on to the stuff, but I ended up with knickknack’s and a ton of pig and cat themed items.  I say thank you, smile a bunch and then purge it later on. Sometimes it just feels like too much stuff.  I re-gift, sell, and donate it right on out of my life!  I absolutely love getting rid of stuff, I love the feeling I get when my house feels empty, or when there is vacant space where there was previously clutter. Maybe that’s the real gift, a feng shui feeling of emptiness and space!  These are my tips:

Sell:

  •  post your items of craigslist
  •  sell on facebook bidding/auction sites.  Simply search for a facebook group with your city and the words bidding/auctions.  After you join, start posting all the stuff you don’t want. I’ve sold a ton of stuff this way

Give/ Re-Gift:

  •  Re-gifting party! Get your friends together, everyone brings a wrapped gift they didn’t like.  Steal the gift games are always fun!   Your friends might not like your gift either, but with any luck they won’t leave their shitty gifts behind at the end of the night.

  •  Every once in a while I will know someone who would love a pig shaped cookie jar, or pink fleece sheets.
  • My last resort is to just donate what I have no use for.  If nothing else I get a discount on my next purchase at my favorite thrift store.  I think it’s a better option that throwing something in the garbage.
  • If all else fails I guess you could just light it all on fire.

Christmas Eve

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Currently fighting off the plague that seems to have descended on my workplace.  I certainly didn’t ask Santa for a cold, but I got it anyways.  It seems only appropriate that I settle into a long Christmas Eve of gift wrapping while doing a marathon of The Walking Dead.  There is a lovely dinner awaiting me tomorrow, I’m not really cooking, I’m more of a sous chef/Typhoid Mary.

The first course:

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Cannot wait to try this soup!  Roasted cauliflower, yum! Hopefully the spice will do my cold some good too.

http://cookieandkate.com/2013/curried-cauliflower-soup/

And the must have dish of 2014 seems to be balsamic roasted brussel sprouts.  I have seen variations of this dish a million times. I think this is the recipe that we are going with, although maybe we’ll choose our own adventure.

Brussels be a roast'n

Brussels be a roast’n

http://kosheronabudget.com/easy-balsamic-roasted-brussels-sprouts/

Kosher on a Budget?  I may have to revisit this blog later and learn some tips.  I don’t know much about kosher food other than some horrific hard boiled coffee/onion eggs served up by my sister.  It’s a classic story in my family, universally known as the worst dish ever served at a holiday dinner.  Here’s hoping tomorrow things turn out better.

Merry Christmas!