Santa Claus, supposedly, makes a list and checks it twice.

Occasionally, though, Santa seems to improvise, and the gifts he leaves are not exactly what the recipient wanted.

Take Matt Dwyer of Wichita, for example. He just received a set of placemats shaped like tuxedos — not exactly what the recent college graduate wanted for Christmas.

“I, um, ‘put them away,’” Dwyer said. “I don’t think I can get any money for them, let’s put it that way.”

His sister, Cathy Dwyer, didn’t get any bum gifts this year, but last year received a pair of unwrapped underwear with no tags. She said her mother received a hummingbird feeder, even though hummingbirds don’t hang out in the area where she lives.

What’s a person to do with all those well-meant but poorly planned gifts?

One possibility is to trade them with others at Web sites like

Jessica Hardwick, a former consultant for Microsoft Corp., organized the service in January when she lost her technical job, according to information on the site.

Consumers and businesses can trade goods and services on the site. Many categories are offered, including antiques, books, clothing, computers and many others. Millions of items are listed.

Users may organize “swap circles” to share items with people with similar interests, according to the site, and may pay cash for purchases if a swap isn’t possible.

Some gifts might not be desirable enough to exchange, though. Wendy Yeilding, Oklahoma City, said one of her more-memorable gifts, a cowbell, was received for Christmas in 2004. An office mate bought the cowbell as a “secret Santa” gift because of a skit on the TV show “Saturday Night Live,” Yeilding said.

“I don’t like dingy noises,” Yeilding said. “It (the bell) is still in the bottom of my desk drawer.”

Heather McReynolds, a California resident, was visiting relatives in Edmond Monday and said her 2-year-old son received an odd Christmas gift this year: a ceramic Santa Claus.

“Not very appropriate,” McReynolds said. “I’ll probably either give it away or throw it away.”

Of course there are always online auctions, like eBay, for those unwanted gifts. One Edmond business, WeEba4U, 610 S. Kelly Ave., will even take care of the sale if a customer doesn’t want to take the time himself.

According to the company Web site, WeEba4U will take photographs, write a description, handle the sale, and take care of packing, shipping and payment, then mail a check to the seller.

And if a person doesn’t want to swap or sell gifts, thrift stores and charity organizations are glad to take unwanted items.

Denise Blakeney, new owner of Second Time Around, 715B W. Edmond Road, said she would be pleased to receive all types of donations.

“Clothes, household items, furniture, baby items, books, toys — we’ll pretty much take it all,” she said.

Second Time Around will officially open Jan. 3 under Blakeney’s management, and will benefit Birth Choice of Oklahoma. Blakeney said donations were brisk the day after Christmas.

Some families didn’t have a problem with Santa’s selections this year. Phil and Stephanie Edelin, Oklahoma City, were shopping Monday at Kohl’s, but not returning any gifts.

“We pretty much listen to each other (about our gift lists) and listen to our kids,” Stephanie Edelin said. “We even have our older kids write letters to Santa Claus, so we’ll know what they want.”

Rob McAuley of Edmond was shopping at the local Kohl’s with his family, too. The family received good gifts, they said, but laughed at a gift McAuley receives each Christmas from a certain relative.

“Every year he just keeps getting flashlights,” said his wife, Staci. “Each year it’s a different kind. This year it was the kind you shake. Last year it was the kind you wind up.”

McAuley didn’t seem to mind, though. Maybe he can loan one of those flashlights to Santa, so Santa can double-check the gift list a little better next year.

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