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Reflections: What did you do with your Christmas gift?

What did you do with your Christmas gift?
By William L. Bulla

I saw some interesting statistics from a nationwide survey by Consumer Reports telling what people did with their Christmas gifts in 2010. This caused me to wonder what they did with their gifts from Christmas 2011.
From the lines of people in the stores on the Monday after Christmas, it was expected to be the third busiest day of the year in terms of foot traffic according to ShopperTrack, a company that analyses data from retailers across the country. Shoppers were excited to get to the stores on the day after Christmas so they could cash in their new gift cards and take advantage of the post-holiday sales while exchanging gifts.
In 2010, nearly 36 percent of Americans returned at least one gift that was unsuitable for numerous reasons. Some were simply because of being the wrong size or color. Other reasons were because they already had that item, wanted to replace it with something they liked better, or thought it was "hideous".
The survey by Consumer Reports revealed that in 2010, one in five claimed they received a "lousy" gift. Of that group, 44 percent made the best of the gifts they received. However, 39 percent stored the gifts away where no one could see them, and approximately 18 percent donated them to friends or charitable organizations.
As the survey allowed people to select more than one category for their answers, the figures of the survey add up to more than 100 percent. We see that 15 percent re-gifted it; 11 percent returned it to the retailer; 11 percent threw it out; and 6 percent tried to sell it.
I guess I was a lucky one this year. I received a sweater that had to be exchanged, and I was fortunate enough to find one identical sweater in my size left in the store.
So how did you make out this year? Was your sweater too big...too small...not the right style...not the color you desired...or needed to be exchanged for a brand name of sweaters your friends wore? Did you receive some object (I won't even try to guess what it might have been) that you found "hideous" or "unacceptable'? Did you try to hide it? Or pass it off to a friend? If so, he or she, may not still be a friend. Or did you "dump it" on some charitable group and claim it as a donation on your income tax? So I ask you, dear reader, what are your plans for your Christmas gifts?

William L. Bulla is a freelance writer residing in Washington County.

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