A Different Take on Donations

A friend was telling me about a decorative dish her deceased aunt had given her, which she’d never used. She’d come across it in a drawer occasionally, and thought it would be disloyal to her aunt’s memory to let it go. Finally one day, she realized it would better to donate it, knowing that whomever bought it would find a use for it. She underwent a shift in her thinking which allowed her to re-frame the ideas of memory and loyalty; she imagined that her aunt would have been happier knowing it had been put to good use, even if not in her niece’s home.

This idea can be a little trickier when you’re not using, or not happy with, a gift you’ve received from someone who’s still living, and whom you know will visit one day! If you’ve let the gift go, and the giver visits, looking for the gift – that could be a difficult admission. I know some will store it until the giver visits, then display it, and re-store it after they’re gone. Each situation/gift has to be determined on its own merit, and there’s obviously no guarantee someone’s feelings won’t get hurt. One way of handling it is, you could tell them it’s a policy of yours to let go of anything you haven’t used in a given period of time – say, six or 12 months. So it’s you, not them, who is at issue, as it were.