Reviewing re-gifting

I’ve been thinking about the whole re-gifting thing. I’d never heard of the term until recently, although I’m sure I’ve been an unknowing participant in the past. Actually, now that I think about it, that would explain some of the more interesting birthday presents I’ve had in the past, given my birthday is three days after Christmas.

In case you’re not hip to re-gifting, it’s when you give someone a present that someone else gave you. Now, there are all sorts of subcategories, some of which can be found at the most excellent Urban Dictionary, but all have the underlying theme that to be a ‘re-gifter’ implies you are stingy, lazy or plain mean and insulting.

Bah humbug! Let’s look at what’s good.

I was a ‘re-giftee’ last year – and knowingly so – from my mother. Given that she has, over the years, given some presents (not all, Mum! Not all…) that should have been re-gifted, this is a reverse irony of the most delicious kind.

But, the point is, she gave it knowing:

  • it was actually a nice thing – ie not crap
  • she would never use it
  • that I may like it – really, a bit of a lottery with mother-daughter gifts (see above) but worth a shot

Of course this pic proves that beauty (and presents) are in the eye of the beholder but, you know what, I like it! So: nice present, happy giftee, re- or otherwise.

Now, it so happens that for the very same birthday I received an ‘original’ present that I recognised as:

  • being a nice thing – ie not crap
  • something I would never use – I already had one – and therefore it would sit forever unused
  • something that someone I knew would possibly like

Yesterday I re-gifted it with honesty – et voila! She was delighted, and I’m delighted it’s going to be used.

Tell me: where’s the stingy, mean and lazy in that?

The only crack in my positive little re-gifting theory is that I haven’t told the person who gave me the original present that I have re-gifted it. And that, actually, is quite a crack, as they gave it to me thinking I would enjoy it. I have enjoyed it … knowing it’s bringing joy to someone else. Also, the person who gave my mother her present (now re-gifted to me) doesn’t know of the object’s current status. Does that matter?

I can’t help thinking along the lines of ‘what goes around, comes around’. But heck, if it’s jewellery, books or even a dodgy cardigan, re-gift to your heart’s content. I won’t mind, honest.

One comment

  1. ‘object’s current status’ – The poor old object should be put on facebook to find some real friends! Thats a funny post. I like the concept, it helps me get rid of that guilt complex, post Christmas. Thankyou!


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