THE BLOG
12/22/2010 03:24 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Twelve Days of Christmas Cleaning: Turning Everyday Crap Into Something Gift Wrapped

Let's face it. We all know regifting is tacky as hell, from the totally obvious (scented candles are the perfect way to say, "I refuse to put any thought into your gift.") to the downright bizarre ("How did you know I didn't already have an Al Roker snow globe?").

With the multitude of gift-giving suggestions out there, I understand it can get confusing. Let's examine that perennial favorite, "The Twelve Days of Christmas": Drummers drumming? Headache! Pipers piping? Pipe down! Who wants Lords-a-leaping and why are they leaping in the first place? Maids-a-milking? I've never even heard of that fetish.

Ditto for swans, geese, turtle doves, calling birds, and French hens. No thank you. No partridge. No pear tree for me. (Okay, I'm not gonna lie. I'm open to the five golden rings. Even one ring. Fellas?)

But times are tough. Not all of us have the extra cash to go out and buy presents this holiday season. However, most of us have houses full of crap. I mean, seriously. When was the last time you cleaned? I propose a twofold holiday gifting plan:

Instead of getting crap you don't want for Christmas, get rid of the crap you already have, but don't want. Clean out your home and bestow some clever treasures upon your gift recipients this year...

(Warning: Do not try to sing the following to the tune of "12 Days of Christmas." It is futile and will hurt your brain.)

1) You know that closet with all those old VHS tapes you need to get rid of? Here's your chance. Wrap up Weekend at Bernie's and tell your nephew it was the big winner this year at Sundance. Your nephew will ask what Sundance is and what a VHS is and that's when you feel old and cry. On second thought, just toss the tapes in the trash.

2) Old magazines? Say hello to "The Collage Kit." Your Aunt Renee can cut and glue for months with your old New Yorker and Cat Fancy magazines. Just make sure she's not crafting ransom notes. Again. (Christmas is no time to have to come up with bail money.)

3) It's time to get rid of those diet books you've been collecting for years. You already know how to lose weight: Eat less, eat better, and exercise. And giving away diet books is a great idea, because everyone loves to read. I've given away several, and I've never heard one complaint from the recipients. Come to think of it, I've never heard a word from any of them since.

4) Your "Members Only" jacket? This generation has no clue what it is. Put it in a nice box and congratulate your little brother on his initiation into this secret, exclusive club. Bonus: You can anonymously bill the recipient for a membership fee every year. It's the gift that keeps on giving... to you!

5) Do you have a friend that looks like Skeletor dipped in paper mache? What about a fridge full of leftovers and cabinet full of candy corn? Maybe Skeletor's not skinny by choice! Maybe she can't afford to upsize those fries. Take that old meatloaf, shove some Fluffernutter in there, decorate it with a handful of candy corn and gift wrap it with fruit roll-ups. Would it kill you to batter dip and deep fry the whole thing? You're welcome.

6) Still holding on to that old microwave? Oh, but it's not just a microwave...fill it with some sand and a sassy mermaid, and voila: a beautiful aquarium. (Sure, there might be an electrical hazard or two, but you can worry about that later. No one should have to worry on Christmas.)

7) Chewed-on pens. Gross, you say? Not to the teen who finds out it's the same pen Stephenie Meyer nibbled on when creating her Twilight series! (If she goes to the trouble of checking the dental records, she obviously doesn't trust you or deserve to be your niece anyway.)

8) Why not get rid of that thing in the corner of the room that you hang your clothes on? I think it's called a treadmill or something. I gave mine to a friend who I thought needed to lose a few pounds, with a note that read "I think you need to lose a few pounds." She must be using it all the time, because I never hear from her anymore either. Health nuts must really go nuts!

9) Tipping is customary for doormen or postal workers. Save a weeks worth of junk mail, tie a bow around it, and give it to your mailman. See how he likes it for a change. (But keep the Bed Bath & Beyond coupons -- they don't expire. You'll save 20% on crap you can gift next year.)

10) You don't want to walk into a party empty-handed. And your special one-of-a-kind cocktails made with all the remnants from your old liquor bottles are sure to be a crowd-pleaser. They haven't lived 'til they've tried your Jack Daniel's Sake Kahlua Malibu Champagne Patron Silver Pinot Noir Pabst Blue Ribbon Surprise Nog.

11) Some people give lottery tickets as gifts. But no one ever thinks to give the all- important "lottery ticket scratcher." Well, now you know what to do with that jar of pennies you never took to the bank. One penny vs. a dollar for a lottery ticket. You're saving 99 cents and avoiding the uncomfortable scenario where they actually win.

12) How about those 13 broken televisions dating back to 1982 that you have piling up in the living room? Or the 18 years' worth of Sears catalogs you have stacked up in the den? What? You don't have those? You've never appeared on "Hoarders?" You're saying that's not normal? Um... okay. Never mind.

Have a wonderful holiday, whatever you're celebrating, and I hope you liked these suggestions. You'll be receiving them again next Christmas in a different font.