How to avoid buying and receiving useless Christmas gifts

"...almost two out of three people receive a Christmas gift they do not like..."

Over the next few weeks about 2 billion people celebrating Christmas around the world will buy gifts for their partners, family members, friends and colleagues. In addition to being expensive, Christmas shopping is also stressful for all those people who, like me, struggle with coming up with good gift ideas. On the other hand, Christmas shoppers will also receive gifts, many of which will turn out to be useless or unwanted. In fact, according to a 2014 study from The Telegraph almost two out of three people receive a Christmas gift they do not like, but many are too polite to ask for it to be exchanged for something else.

Psychologist Donna Dawson commented: “Approaching the giver to ask if you can exchange or return gifts is a Christmas minefield, and women in particular are sensitive to how this could negatively affect a relationship. Traditionally, we are not supposed to tell friends and extended family what we want for Christmas, leaving the giver to guess or to use their 'good taste'”.

But I have some good news for you today: there’s an app for that! In fact some smart people invented an application called memosnag that lets you save things you like online, create collections and share them with people. My wife discovered memosnag a couple of months ago. She started saving random things she liked across the web: clothes from online stores, products on Amazon, photos from online magazines… You name it. She then organized them in a collection that she called “Gifts my husband could buy me” and shared it with me. What a fantastic idea! Armed with this list of perfect presents, all I need to worry about is picking what best fits the occasion (and my budget), without worrying she won’t like what I got her.

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Of course I did the same for myself and taken it to the next level. I created my own memosnag collection with gifts I’d like to receive and invited family, friends and colleagues to view it. I even shared it on Facebook, just in case I forgot anyone. My collection includes nice bottles of wine I would normally not buy, scotch, Xbox games, cologne, guitar tuner and strings… all stuff I actually want and that people would not necessarily guess. Not only… as I come across more things I like online, I add them to the collection, so people never run out of good gift ideas for me.

And then the magic happened: I started receiving gifts I actually like. Brilliant!

So, this Christmas do yourself a favor: get memosnag and get your partner, family and friends to get it too! It’s free and it’s available for Chrome and Firefox for your laptop and for iPhone and Android for your phones. Every time you come across something you like, save it. Create a collection with all these nifty things and share it with your partner, friends and family. You can also create different collections for different people, maybe based on price or whatever other criteria makes sense for you.

Memosnag makes is real easy… you can save things online with 1 click and organizing what you save takes seconds. No more crappy presents and no more excuses.

Don’t be a fool this Christmas. Be a perfect-gift hero and help others get the right gift for you.