The True Gift is in the Regifting

With the holiday gift-giving season slamming to a close behind us, the holiday gift-returning season is just beginning. In case you’re not sure, this is a significantly less joyous time of year. Anyone who has ever tried going to the mall AFTER January 1 knows this post-season time in the stores is even more crowded, the parking is even more horrific, and the store employees, even more surly and than before the holidays. Clearly, the “fifty percent off” signs refer to both the merchandise and the service.

For many years, I was one of the many, the miserable, the RETURNEES. But then I discovered the secret to avoiding this heinous chore altogether:

It’s called, Regifting.

I know regifting has always had something of a bad rap. But when you think about it as recycling instead of regifting, it actually makes a lot of sense. When I get a gift that I don’t need, instead of returning it for something else I don’t need or letting it collect dust in my already over-stuffed closet, I give it to someone else! For instance, when I get a bottle of something I don’t drink…voila: I have an instant thank you gift of delicious Tamborine Mountain Butterscotch Flavored Schnapps (yummmm!) for the hostess of a product party I have to attend. When my son gets a slimey toy that will stick to the rug or the furniture or the dog, I wrap it back up and… voila: I have an instant birthday present for a boy in his class which I’m sure his mother will just love!
It’s a win-win situation. I save time shopping so I have more time to spend with my children which makes me a better mother… and someone else gets a great gift that I would never in my right mind want, I mean, a gift that just doesn’t suit my taste.

Of course, I do not regift indiscriminately. If someone gives me something completely tasteless, useless, or just plain ugly, I will not pass it on unless I really don’t like the person I’m regifting to.

Unfortunately, as logical as the whole regifting thing is, there is still a stigma attached to it. For some reason I just don’t get, many people feel slighted if you give them something you received and didn’t want. My feeling is, if it’s more your style than mine, what’s the problem? I may not be a red, white and blue striped patent-leather pocketbook kind of girl, but maybe someone I know is. I’m sure my patriotic Aunt would be thrilled to receive this lovely gift! And if she doesn’t like it either, than she now has something she herself can regift.

The obvious problem with regifting is having the recipient accidentally find out that you regifted them. This is called The Regift Rebound and usually happens in one of two ways:
1: In your haste to regift, you neglect to remove the original gift card that came with the gift. Clearly, when Aunt Betty goes to open the gift I give her for her birthday and she finds a card inside that says, “Dear Tracy, Hope you have a great Birthday, love Debbie,” the jig is up. Sometimes you can get out of this one by laughing and saying something like, “Gee I was wrapping your gift at the same time that I opened this other one and a freak wind blew the door in which must have caused the cards to get switched.” Chances are, Aunt Betty won’t buy it, and will feel slighted, which increases the likelihood of… scenario number 2:
2: You regift a gift back to the person who gave it to you in the first place.
Which explains why six months later I got a lovely red white and blue striped patent leather pocketbook in the mail for my birthday.


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3 responses to “The True Gift is in the Regifting

  1. guilty of #1. guilty of #2. both horribly embarrassing as #1 was an engraved silver album (with my name..) and #2 right back to the same favorite sister-in-law who gave it to me. Wish it ended there, but did it again to same sis-in-law. Now all the crap gifts go to goodwill, and forced to open the wallet to save face. God, i’m pathetic.

  2. Oh no! That is too funny! Yeah, I think in general, monogrammed gifts don’t make good regifts. I once regifted a food basket and didn’t realize one of my kids had opened the cookies and eaten most of them (even left a half eaten one in there)! LOL!!

  3. So funny, Tracy. Fear leads me to the KathyKate solution. I once dated a man who only bought me candy when I was on a diet. Mmmm????