Lots of bloggers seem to be re-publishing posts during this holiday season, and I want to be a “big blogger,” too. This post previously ran for my birthday earlier this year, but the subject matter is certainly appropriate for Christmas. If you’re still trying to figure out the perfect gift for the hard-to-please person, you might want to keep the following in mind:
My birthday (never mind which one!) was last month, which brings me to the subject(s) of today’s post:
What do you do when you receive a gift from someone you really don’t like?
My gut reaction is to simply tell that person I hate him/her and to take that gift and …. but you get the drift, and I’m a polite person. So what I usually do is accept with a gracious “Oh, that’s so thoughtful. Thank you.”
If the gift is something I like, even though I don’t like the giver, I will use it/spend it/whatever, feeling slightly guilty at the time of using/spending/whatever.
If the gift is, like the giver, unpalatable to me, I do one of four things: throw it out, donate it to some unsuspecting charity, store it away in case anyone I know ever has a use for it, or immediately re-gift it.
Which brings me to the next question:
How do you feel about re-gifting?
I don’t know about others, but I personally feel guilty any time I re-gift something. And I always get caught!
A few years back, I re-gifted a restaurant certificate I had received and had no use for. The recipient of my re-gift was my mother-in-law. I knew she often ate at that restaurant and would enjoy the certificate since she is on fixed income. And she was happy to receive it – however, I realized my error when she said in a confused voice, “This is very nice, but why am I getting it from [name of person who originally gave the certificate to me]?”
Of course, that works both ways. My mother-in-law once gave me a set of very nice bed sheets, forgetting that they were the same sheets I had given her a couple of years earlier.
So, the next question, of course, is:
In the aforementioned re-gifting scenario, I am very proud of the fact that I simply acknowledged the thoughtfulness of the gift without letting on that I had ever set eyes on it before.
I understand, of course, that one of the reasons people re-gift is a desire to show affection or respect, accompanied by a lack of funds. And I’m OK with that.
At an office holiday party years ago, I received a basket made up of obviously discarded candles and bath gels. I use neither. But the giver was a young lady we had only just hired and who had been unemployed for some time. I knew from talking to her that she had suffered serious financial hardships and had no excess money, so again, I accepted the gift with the usual “That’s so thoughtful. Thank you.” And then promptly threw everything away once I got home.
What about people who can afford not to re-gift but do so anyway?
This one really ticks me off. I don’t mind if a family member or close friend gives me something like a gift card that they have received and have no use for so long as they acknowledge that as being the case. I often re-gift store cards and restaurant certificates to my own kids because I know they have little or no money left after making their student loan, rent or mortgage, and car payments.
Do you really think that hideous neon-colored plaster naked lady statue is going to look any better in my home than yours? OK, so maybe you do think that (you stuck up, arrogant bitch), but what makes you think I want it in my home instead of yours?
When it works.
As I said, re-gifting of store and restaurant certificates is usually OK with me, provided they’re for establishments I normally frequent.
Before I developed my ulcerative colitis, I often received other people’s cast-off fruitcakes. That was fine with me, too, because I was one of the few people on the face of this earth who actually liked fruitcake.
Is there a point to this post?
Probably not. But if there is, it would be this:
Even re-gifting requires some thought. Don’t just give other people crap you don’t want for the sake of having something to wrap up. Think a little – will the recipient be appreciative of the gift in question and able to use it, or will it likely be re-gifted to someone else, who will then re-gift it to someone else, ad infinitum. If it’s really just junk, throw it out and save the rest of us the grief.