Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The gift that keeps on giving.

 Let me preface my post by saying that anything given in the true spirit of giving is a kind and generous thing and that far too often the gifts value is far greater than we realize simply because of the gesture and not what it is actually 'worth'. 


It’s referred to as ‘RE-GIFTING’; the art of giving someone something that had once been given to you. With Christmas just around the corner, what better time to discuss this time honoured tradition. We’ve all done it, right? Surely. We all have a drawer, cupboard or closet where we put these gems. Tuck them away for an emergency. The embroidered guest towels, floral cream and sugar set, electric knife, porcelain vase, assorted fruit scented candles, miscellaneous chatchkas and the like. Things that our generous friends, acquaintances and family members think that we need and could use, but that obviously serve no purpose in our daily lives. We tuck them away, couldn’t possibly throw them away that would be wasteful. What if….one day we need to serve tea (yes, a tea emergency) to someone important and rather than scoop sugar from the open bag that’s sitting on the counter, you need a sugar bowl. A FLORAL sugar bowl. BOOM! You have one.

Ok, the likelihood of a tea emergency that requires a sugar bowl, a FLORAL sugar bowl? Slim. But the likelihood that you’ll be caught needing an emergency gift for someone else? Pretty good. You know what I’m talking about. A friend is in the hospital and you need a gift to bring to cheer them up. You just found out it’s your babysitter’s birthday and you probably should give her something since you will be needed her services tomorrow night. The list goes on. Here’s where it gets interesting….RE-GIFTING. You tuck into your secret stash of goodies and whip out an appropriate choice for the occasion in question, trying desperately to remember who gave you the gem in the first place. This is truly important as the greatest sin in RE-GIFTING is to re-gift to she/he that gifted you in the first place. You visit a friend who has been under the weather and rather than go to the shop and buy something you dip into the magical cupboard. “These candles would be fantastic for so-and-so, actually I’m sure she would love these, they are her colours”. You arrive on your friend’s doorstep brandishing your gift like a trophy expecting high praise and gratitude for actually bringing anything in the first place. A glazed look comes over your friend as she mumbles and says….’didn’t I give these to YOU?’ Doh! Such poor taste. This fiasco could easily have been prevented. This is where you could employ the sticker/tag method. Write the name of the original giver on a post-it note and stick it to the item. Nice save.

Another drama in the land of RE-GIFTING is (cue dramatic music) getting caught sans original gift by original gifter. Oh the drama that unfolds, when the lovely neighbour who so generously gave you the floral cream and sugar set stops by for tea and sees that not only are you not using their cream and sugar set, but that you can’t even produce it when they ask about it. “It broke?” “Doesn’t match my dinnerware?” “Lent it to a friend?” This is where it’s important to remember that RE-GIFTING should only be employed in instances where the original gifter isn’t able to check up on the original gift.

Though there are many more scenarios, the last I’ll focus on today is Sentimental RE-GIFTING. This is where the original gifter has given you something of great sentimental/personal meaning and you either don’t realize or don’t care and re-gift anyway. This is easily avoided by simply asking if the gift has any special meaning at the time you receive the gift. Nothing worse than accidentally RE-GIFTING a vase that unfortunately didn’t go with the Art Deco Moderne décor in the apartment only to discover that it was actually an heirloom, one-of-a-kind piece that your friend’s great-great-great aunt had to smuggle under her skirt to get out of the ‘old country’ . What’s worse is when your friend learns that you RE-GIFTED to your babysitter for her 14th birthday. Ouch.

RE-GIFTING is often a necessity but must be done properly to prevent hurt feelings. Even though the original gifter didn’t give you something that you could find use of, they still gifted for the right reason and isn’t it the thought that counts? Of course it is. Therefore thought and care must be exercised in the world of RE-GIFTING.

A few rules to follow:

Always re-wrap a re-gift. If you’re saving money by using an in-house item, the least you can do is to find new wrap and put some effort into it.

Never re-gift to the original gifter…..seriously. Ever.

Do not re-gift something that the original giver has given you with sentimental meaning attached. This never ends well.

Finally, never re-gift something that was originally gifted by someone who is able to check to see if you still have the original gift. They will ask to see it, I promise you.

There you have it, my ramblings for today. Thank you to Anastacia for her contribution yesterday, I’m going to enjoy her words, I hope you do as well. Please look for another Diva to be introduced tomorrow; I’m hoping you will enjoy her words too. I love the feedback and commentary, so please continue both on Facebook and on the blog. I have the blog comment option set for moderation, simply to prevent spam and general naughtiness, but I (the Divas included) would love to see your thoughts turned into words as well.

Until next time.


Tracy Preece said...

I have learned that the best gift to give....is liquor. And once you give someone something you would like in return, they actually take note! And if they don't drop'em. lol :D

Frantastic™ said...

Ha! Nice. My 'people' are fans of giving cash. It seems cold and impersonal, but honestly, that way the recipient can get whatever they want/need. And nobody ever asks to see the $50 you gave them last year to make sure you still have it.