Donate it. Most cities have more than a few local charity organizations, orphanages and women’s shelters to donate them to. With your unwanted presents, you can spread holiday cheer by making someone else — someone who is in need and might otherwise not receive gifts — very happy.
Return it. It is, in this case, usually hard to speak your mind. Nobody likes telling friends and family that you don’t like their presents. But it’s no favor to pretend to like something that you don’t. Be nice and thankful, but also honest, and return the present to the store. With the credit, you can buy something you actually need or enjoy, and others will better understand your taste in presents for next time.
Re-gift it. Another possibility is to re-gift the present. Stow it away, and then figure out who might like it more than you. Be careful, though, not to accidentally give the present back to the person who gave it to you! Alternatively, you could leave the unwanted gift outside of your front door, attaching a sign that reads: “to give away”–somebody will quickly scoop it up.
Change it. Organize a Secret Santa party. Invite your friends over, and tell them to bring their unwanted Christmas presents. According to Secret Santa rules, in a randomly selected order, each person chooses a wrapped gift from the pile without knowing its contents. The next person then has the choice to either choose another gift from the pile or steal a gift that someone has already chosen. It is also possible to do it in a more civilized manner: just swap them with friends, relying on discussion rather than tactics.
Write a wish list. To avoid the bad gift conundrum altogether, you might want to write a wish list before the holiday season. Write gifts down that you would enjoy receiving, and hand the list around to friends and family. They can then choose from a range of things with the certainty that you’ll love anything they pick.
Give time. In a world of conspicuous consumption, stress and work, time is one of the more valuable gifts one can give. So use Christmas as a chance to remind others how much you really care. Go on a daytrip, spend a day at a museum—anything you would both enjoy. The memories will be an additional present, along with the continued comfort and joy of a close relationship.
Headerimage by iHeartBerlin