Gift Guilt

Holidays are done, New Year’s has been put to bed, and the confetti has been swept away. Most off you are embracing a new set of resolutions, intentions, goals, or whatever people are calling them nowdays. I’m not here to talk about that. I’m here to talk about something from last year.

Gifts. Gifts that you received, from family, from friends, from coworkers, from neighbors. Gifts rock, no doubt. However, some gifts, however heartfelt, simply don’t have a place in your life. You love the person (or not), you love the sentiment (or not), but you look at the gift you’ve been given and you either can’t figure out where it would fit in your life, or shudder with revulsion at the notion of fitting it into your life. You may feel like an ungrateful jerk for not keeping it and/or using it.

Here’s some advice: Don’t.

Gifts are wonderful things, but gifts should not be a burden. Gifts should not create a sense of obligation or guilt. If you are hanging on to gifts from the holidays out of a sense of guilt (“We can’t get rid of the porcelain bull, it’s from Aunt Tiny!”) I’m here to tell you it’s okay to let it go. Turn it loose into the world, let it run wild and free. Somewhere, there’s someone that needs or desperately craves the very item you absolutely can’t stand, and will scoop it up with glee. Keeping the less than loved object around will simply help constipate your space (yes, i just said that), and serve as a convenient store of negative energy. When you see it, or stumble across it, or it falls on your head from its hiding place high in a closet, it will wake up that same sense of obligation and guilt. Don’t do that to yourself.

Give yourself one final gift this holiday season. Give yourself the permission to let go of gifts that you don’t love.