By David Highfield

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — How many times have you gotten a gift and you had to make that fake face? That “I love it” face when you’re really thinking – this is awful.

Well, registering for Christmas is one way to avoid all that.

It’s true, gift registries are for more than just weddings and babies. Nowadays, more online and traditional retailers allow you to make a “wish list” for the holidays.

At the REI store on the South Side, Tony Hall showed us how easy it is to register. They set an account for you and then you walk around the store scanning the items you’d like to receive.

REI offers gift registry for any special occasion, and it’s not alone.

Walmart lets you make a wish list.

Kohl’s offers traditional wedding and baby registries, but also one for other celebrations.

Target has an app to get your kids involved.

“They’re targeting it for children, and they have an app that you could put on your child’s phone. So they can make a list, which I thought was pretty slick,” said Elaine Luther, who teaches at Point Park University’s School of Business.

She says while surprise gifts sometimes work, other times, not so much: “The giver thought I’m being really creative and that says a lot… and the person receiving it (says) I was hinting what I wanted and people aren’t paying attention.”

Amazon lets you create a wish list, and you decide who can see it.

Toys ‘R Us also allows kids or parents to make a wish list online or in the store with a scanner. New this year, items can also be scanned from the company’s toy catalog.

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And sites such as and allow you to make list with gifts from different stores.

Just like a wedding registry, you have to let people know where you’re registered. And the lists will show people what’s already been bought, so you don’t get duplicate stuff.

But if the idea of registering for the holidays seems to go against the Christmas spirit, Tony Hall reminds us of another way to deal with unwanted gifts: “You re-gift.”

David Highfield