I used to have a big problem with the gifts people give me.
I felt ashamed and awkward getting rid of the stuff, and was afraid to do so in case the gift-giver ever asked after it.
What solved the problem for me was realising that when people give gifts, they don’t want their gift to ever be a burden. That’s not their intention.
People give gifts to make others happy. The purpose of the gift is in the giving. The aim is not to burden. And if the item no longer makes me happy, true friends always feel fine about me passing the gift on to someone who can use it.
I talked to some of my compulsive gift-giving friends about how I felt, now that I was trying to simplify my life and reduce my possessions. They all said the same, all variations of: “If you need to pass it on, do so.” Their words made me feel better, and less burdened.
Friendships aren’t ever defined by gifts, or stuff. Friendships are defined by love.
Nowadays, I’ve asked all my friends who are in the habit of gift-giving not to give me gifts at all. If they feel they really must give me something, I ask that they give to my chosen charity (KidsCanNZ) instead. They’re more than happy to do so, and it makes their lives easier because they don’t have to think about what to get me!
Some of my friends have even become regular donors to KidsCan! 🙂
Don’t ever think that because something was given to you it must become a permanent fixture in your life. If it is a burden, or you don’t use it, give it to someone who will need it and use it. Honestly, nobody will mind, and someone somewhere might be very thankful.