2005 Un-Gift Guide: No Gift!

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Gift: No Gift (that's the gift)
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This is an issue that comes up in many families each year. You or someone in your family REALLY doesn't want a gift. Perhaps it has to do with how they feel about gifts or maybe it's just because they hate having to take a whole bunch of well meaning but awful items down to Goodwill in January. This is how one reader put it:

You know that person on your list who says they want "nothing"? MAYBE THEY REALLY MEAN IT... My friends know that I'd rather have hot chocolate with them rather than a box of cocoa in my kitchen. My relatives are another matter...

I live in a studio apartment, and my suburban relatives practice scattershot generosity. I warn people and refuse gifts, but I still come home with a pile of things that end up at Goodwill in January.

How do I convince my relatives that I _really_ don't want anything this year, without making us all feel like I'm a mean, ungrateful bitch?

The problem with this is that we don't know what the appropriate way to get this message across is yet. Do you?

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Maxwell left teaching in 2001 to start Apartment Therapy as a design business helping people to make their homes more beautiful, organized AND healthy. The website started up in 2004 with the help of his brother, Oliver.