First of all, when did “giving” become “gifting”? And why does that bother me so much?
Anyway, today’s topic is REgifting. When did that become a thing? When did it become common enough that we feel OK talking about it, and writing an article like this one in Time Magazine telling you when it’s OK to regift, and how to do it without getting caught?
Apparently, the answer is NOW. Back in the 1970’s, not so much. One Monday in December was the third grade class Christmas party and gift exchange. By Sunday afternoon, either I had forgotten to tell my mother, or she had put it off (or both), but I had no gift to give. We had to rush out to the store but, before we could go, it snowed. Real hard. No trip to the store, and I had to wrap a used gift. I knew it was a bad idea, but I wrapped the used race car. The next day, the paper wasn’t even completely off before the kid yelled “Gross! A USED gift?” Children can be so kind.
So, this article tells you how to avoid scenes like this when regifting.
Regift strategically (Who and When)
Completely repackage the gift
Regift only good gifts
And it also suggests the kind of items that might make suitable regifts. Here are the bullets…
Gift cards for stores you don’t like
Food or treat gift baskets: Store bought and shrink wrapped only
Flowers or décor arrangements
Toys your kids won’t play with: If nothing else, donate them
Neutral accessories:neutral being the key – no nutty colors or patterns
Coffee and mug sets: the kind you always see at discount stores
Gifts you don’t love and can return for store credit: turning unwanted items into gift cards
Books you won’t read
Entertaining items:I have regifted barbecue tool sets a couple of times
Once upon a Christmas, I gave someone close a copy of the LIFE magazine from the day she was born. Mind you, the special day was in 1959. I sent away to an antique publications house in New York two months in advance, and paid $40 for it.
On Christmas Day, she opened the package and… just didn’t get it. She was polite about it but I could just tell, you know?
Well, according to a study in a recent Journal of Experimental Psychology…
The adage “It’s the thought that counts” was largely debunked. Gift givers are better off choosing gifts that receivers actually desire rather than spending a lot of time and energy shopping for what they perceive to be a thoughtful gift. The study found thoughtfulness doesn’t increase a recipient’s appreciation if the gift is a desirable one. In fact, thoughtfulness only seemed to count when a friend gives a gift that is disliked. Wall Street Journal
So, we really only want what we want. They say the only sure way to satisfy someone is to force them to make a list, and then buy something on it. And this is my defense in the previous example. I went the “thoughtful” route because she was TERRIBLE about making a wish list, always has been. After that, I switched to gift cards.
Oh well… if you are thinking that this is just one more sign of what stupid selfish babies we all are, I have to say that I don’t disagree. Read the article, and tell us what you think!
* the “errand” joke isn’t mine. I would credit it if I could remember who said it!