Dear Austin’s Acre: Returns


Dear Austin’s Acre,

I love Christmas and thoroughly enjoy celebrating the birth of Jesus, etc.  But to me, nothing says Christmas like some really good gifts.  This year I received several Christmas gifts because I am a very popular person.  Unfortunately, it appears that all the people I know have bad taste.  The gifts I received were each hand-made and every single one, without exception, was hideous.

The most unfortunate reality of this year’s gift exchange is that there is no where to return the pair of knitted oven mits, the felt pajamas with puppies on the pattern, the stationary with my initials drawn on each page, by hand, with orange crayon.  I’ve tried taking the items to WalMart, KMart, StuffMart, and any other Mart in the Tri-state area.  But no one wants these pathetic gifts.

I don’t want to appear insensitive but this just stinks.  It has ruined my Christmas and the first part of 2012.

Do you have any suggestions or matches?

Signed, Gifted

Dear Gifted,

Life can be hard as exhibited by your bad luck this year in the Christmas gift department. However, you are in luck.  I have several good ideas that can turn your bad run of gifts into a profitable venture.

1.  EBAY – there is a sucker born ever minute.  Those oven mits can be sold as Soviet-era space gloves.  The pajamas will go quickly because there are lots of puppy lovers out there with money to burn.  The stationary will be a little trickier.  If you have good initials (LBJ, JFK, etc) you can really clean up.  Otherwise, you might have to do a Google search to determine a favorite person with your initials.  Simply post that item as a childhood memento of that famous celebrity.

2. Insurance Fraud – Take out a large insurance policy on the items and then, through a tragic accident in your fireplace, the items were burned beyond recognition.  You lose the items and make a little cash on the side.

3. My Dog Ate It – I keep a Yellow Lab pup around for just such an occasion.  Smear each gift with peanut butter and leave them laying around anywhere your Lab might wander (like every room of your house, on top of the kitchen table, under the car, in the microwave, the toilet or trash – don’t worry – your lab will find it).  After 15-20 minutes, your gifts will be completely destroyed.

4. Re-Gifting – Give the mits to the pajama giver.  Give the pajamas to Good Will.  Give the letterhead to the mit maker, etc.

5.  You could keep the gifts that represent lots of hard work and a personal investment in your life.  You could be thankful for the time and talent that have been offered to you as a way of celebrating (in your words) Jesus, etc.  That might be the best idea of all.