Did you get a couple…ummm…..odd or goofy gifts. Come on, we all did! Maybe a great gift that you already have three of or in a size or color that just won’t work with your slim body and delicate complexion. Perhaps some hand painted pictures for over the mantle by a totally unknown (and never to be known) artist. I have the answer for you.
My good friends know that I am the consummate regifter. It goes along with my recycling personality which was caused by my mother who grew up during the depression. (Note: See earlier post on that http://wp.me/p1OrHX-36) Everyone has their own feelings about it but I believe that the best tribute to a friend who has given you a gift is to ensure that it is used and enjoyed.
I would be the first to say that I am hard to buy for. I like what I like and not much else. If you take the time to really know me, it’s not so bad but for those who have better things to do than notice my every interest, it’s tough.
So what do I usually get? With my love of cats, I get cat stuff. Fortunately, that is waning. I actually don’t have a lot of tchotchkes in my house. Ironically, the few I have are ducks which intrigue me. (Note to friends: do not buy me more duck stuff.) Then there are always gift certificates, candles, ornaments, soaps, lotions and that kind of thing. Those are good things because you use them. Occasionally, I get something that I really don’t like or can’t use because of the size, colors or scent. If they are lovely, I will regift to someone who I believe would love them. The key is that it fits the person. You can’t regift to get out of buying a present.
I have been doing this for thirty years. Here are some pointers that work for me:
- For goodness sakes, don’t give it back to the person who gave it to you even if you know they would love it, unless it’s a joke gift that goes back and forth.
- Don’t regift anything that is ugly or useless. Yes, occasionally you get those from someone who may be regifting or just doesn’t have taste. JUST THROW THEM OUT!
- You can’t regift it if you used it — like a candle with the wick partially burned. Tacky! It must be brand new or the gig is up.
- If you aren’t immediately regifting, be sure to put a post-it on it identifying where it came from (see first bullet).
- Also be sure to rewrap and check for cards. I learned that lesson the hard way.
- Sometimes you can donate to an organization for raffles or Chinese auctions. Another good use.
- Regift outside of the circle that it came from. If it’s from family, regift to a co-worker. If it’s from work, regift to family or friends unless they overlap.
Sometimes you are just stuck. Someone important to you bought you something they expect to see either in your house or on your body. Suck it up and put it out for a short period of time. Hope they forget about it.
Usually when I buy a gift, I try to include the gift receipt along with a note that encourages the receiver to keep or exchange as they wish. I would much prefer if they have something they like than have a closet of unused gifts from me.
I am all ears if you have any other suggestions! By the way, my sister-in-law actually LIKES fruitcake just in case you got one of those that needs a home.