If you’re an adult living away from your parents, consider the “gift of taking” this holiday season. It’s not hard: you back a large vehicle into your parents’ driveway, fill it with all the stuff you’ve been storing in their house and then take it away.

Yes, yes, it is better to give than to receive and all that, but in this special case taking is far better than giving because it grants your parents freedom from your stuff: the freedom from being responsible for what you should have taken responsibility for before you moved out to your own place.

Beyond that, it gives them extra square footage. It’s like building an addition onto their home where they can waltz, host all-night raves or perhaps store their own stuff which, if you are nice, they will sort and dispose of. But, if you are naughty, they will leave for you to deal with when they are called to that big recycling center in the sky.

You may be in denial that you are indeed storing anything at your parents’ home. This is largely a myth, a rationale to absolve you of any involvement with their clutter. Parents are often very reluctant to dispose of their children’s creations: Mother’s day cards you created in the first grade, macaroni art from middle school even though it is partially mouse eaten, and your sports trophies from obscure matches in buildings that have long ago been torn down. You may assume that your parents want this priceless memorabilia, but ask them if you can have it and see what they say.

However, don’t try to get around your responsibility for the items by asking in a prejudiced manner: “Oh, Mom, you don’t want that old Furby Doll I got for Christmas in 1999, do you? Just throw it away or give it to Goodwill. It’s missing an eye and it’s just stupid to keep it around.” You are likely to get a response about how you slept with the doll until your early 20’s and it just seems to be a part of you that she cannot discard.

Instead, try asking from another angle: “Oh, Mom, I’m so excited to find the old Furby Doll. I wondered where it ended up. Can I take it home?” Her response may open your eyes: “Yes, yes, take the Furby, the Monopoly game and everything in the Barbie closet. Take the Speak and Spell and the Lego sculpture of Mount Rushmore....”

If they still maintain the bedroom from your youth, you most certainly have some taking away to do. Don’t forget the snowboards in the back of the garage. Yes, the basketball backboard and the 1968 Chevy Impala engine block have to go. So, too, with the Chevy Impala you parked on their property 15 years ago. It’s time. For those unfortunate enough to have parents who own a home with an attic or a cottage up at the lake, you’ll get extra credit for cleaning out those warehouses as well.

Finally, avoid this gift-giving faux pas at all costs where you stroll into your old bedroom, pack up a bin of possessions to take with you and then tell your parents that they can get rid of everything else. Your parents don’t need your permission to dispose of your belongings. It would be a nicer gesture if you put aside the few things that are truly valuable as a gift to your parents and cart off the rest. Don’t saddle your parents with your castaways. That’s like bringing them a load of old clothes, household goods and pet-related products to deal with. It’s not solving any problems. They are having a very hard time disposing of any of your belongings in the first place. Telling them that you don’t want your stuff any longer does not make it any easier.

So come on, back up that SUV or that U-Haul cargo van and start packing. Don’t forget your old canoe and treadmill out back behind the shed.

What are you supposed to do with all that stuff? Ask around; maybe your friends want that Furby or maybe they can give you some pointers on how to sell it on e-Bay; just don’t ask your parents. Or, great idea, keep it for your own children to sort out.

No cash outlay, no gift wrapping. Best Christmas present ever and it will leave your parents dancing.