Every year, the week before Christmas I have a huge Christmas Party for our friends, families and co workers. Aside from the food –  the big hit of the party are the games, and the favorite game is my version of the “trashy Santa swap. Other  people (more refined) have called this game  “Secret Santa”, “White Elephant Gift Swap, “Yankee Swap,” “Gift Grab,” and the obvious “Anonymous Gift Exchange.”  I like it because I get to go thru my closets and get rid of things that I’ve had for years, like the thigh master, old play-dough, the bent frying pan that drive you crazy on the stove, and any left over  boxes of girl scout cookies that my neighbors always know I buy.

But for those of you that don’t go to the “trashy Santa swaps” what are you to do with those unwanted gifts….

Did you know that when it comes to unwanted holiday gifts most of you chose to politely keep them. About $16 billion was wasted on unwanted gifts in 2017. We all know that returning or exchanging anything is a dreaded task, particularly without a receipt. So I say the best way to get the most out of an unwanted gift is to re gift it. But as a tax professional I also must advise that donating your unwanted gifts to some local charities can offer a tax benefit.

Did you know that Americans spend $130 billion on gift cards each year,$1 billion of which goes unspent. If there’s a gift card sitting in your sock drawer, consider selling it to Cardpool.com, which typically pays 75 to 90 percent of value. Another option: List your card on Raise.com, which will sell it to another consumer and them send the payment to you, minus a commission.  OR how about exchanging it? Are you a Target shopper? Most Target locations let customer trade in gift cards from other retailers for a Target card of nearly the same value. Check Target.com to see, which brands are accepted. And once again as a tax professional I need to tell you you can donate it, but if you are uncomfortable with that idea you can give it to CharityGiftCertificates.org as they let you choose from more than 1,000 charities that accept gift cards.

I’ve given you much to ponder as your unwanted gifts may or may not tumble out of your closet. Either way come visit us at Bourke Accounting  or call us today at 502-451-8773 as we love to hear your “trashy Santa swap” stories. See you soon!