Mother of All Mavens

A whole lot o' nothing. And then some…

I just opened my gift cupboard, and it’s almost bare. That’s right, my gift cupboard. Actually, it’s more like my re-gift cupboard. What? I’m no Candy Spelling, it’s not a room, just a small cupboard, full of unwanted gifts that may be better off with someone else. In their house. Don’t raise your eyebrows, everybody re-gifts. And if you don’t, you should start.

I pride myself on being a great re-gifter. Not every bad gift makes a good re-gift. You need to put some thought into it. The unwanted religious paraphernalia? Not great candidates for re-gifting. Anyone who knows me, knows I would never buy the stuff. That special framed prayer or ceremonial plate would scream re-gift. But a lovely frame or photo album? BINGO! And therein lies the art – the item in question may not be to your taste, but it can’t be so hideous that you’d never be caught dead buying it.

I myself have been the victim of re-gifting gone wrong. We’ve received stuff for our kids that has so obviously been passed along that I am tempted to call the giver and out them. We’re talking mismatched outfits from different stores on the same hangers, toys that are clearly gender-specific (and not specific for the gender we have), or shoes that are several sizes too small. A weird part of me wants to pawn these suckers off on someone else – like a broken telephone of presents – just to see if I’ll get busted!

One time, I received a used candle. USED!!! Another time, I unwrapped a lovely leather notebook. Turns out it was a freebie, a gift-with-purchase. I have to admit, the only reason I found out about that one was when I tried to return it and the saleswoman looked at me as though I had stolen the thing. So not only was the gift completely lame, but I was humiliated! After slinking out of the store, I had to confront the giver – how can someone pass off a promo item as a present? The giver didn’t even bat an eye, explaining they had to spend over $400 to get it. Umm, does that make it OK to pass it off as a gift? I don’t think so.

Unfortunately, it looks as though my re-gifting days are coming to an end. First off, it’s hard to re-gift someone you genuinely like, let alone love. I’ve been on the receiving end of lame, obvious re-gifts from a loved one and let me tell you – it hurts. And secondly, I’m running out of acceptable re-gifts. Either people are getting smarter with what they’re choosing, or maybe we’re just not getting as many gifts. The ones that never make it out of my cupboard are stuck in present purgatory for a reason – they suck. How can I give away an itchy, ugly, baby blanket? Or jewellery that’s far more garage sale than estate sale? No one deserves a stinky perfume set (with matching faux crystal tray) or painted rock people. No one.

A last resort is the charity box. But be careful – not only might you get busted by the giver, but someone may spot some of the duds and think they’re actually yours! Fact is, everyone thinks they have great taste. They don’t. And that’s why, sometimes, it really is better to give than to receive.


Anonymous said…

Aint it the truth.. But i still have so much stuff and it never is quite right..

6:34 PM

Anonymous said…

Ahh yes, re-gifting. Does a wall-mounted brushed-silver-fronted wine rack housewarming present ring a bell? Obviously, a re-gift (I believe I’ve already busted you on it) but an excellent re-gift– it looked great in my old place and will look even better in my new one. So thanks, to you… and whoever gave it to you in the first place 🙂

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