Ok, let us all be honest – – we have all received gifts that we appreciate but really cannot use and have no idea what to do with. I prefer to donate my gifts to charities that can use them if the gift is one that will just sit on a shelf or in a closet in my home. I would rather honor the person who gave the gift and his or her thoughtfulness by making sure that someone receives the gift that can use it and will enjoy it. Nevertheless, there have been times when I have re-gifted a gift (yes I admit it.) I know that this is a dark and shameful admission and that there are those of you who will hide your eyes and run the opposite direction from me because re-gifting is something of a dirty little secret. I bet, though, if everyone was honest there is more re-gifting going on than most of us realize. Since re-gifting does take place (even if no one will admit it), I thought it might be good to pass on a few tips for those of you looking to re-gift after this Christmas season.
I think the most important tip is to label the gift with the name of the person who gave you the gift and the date it was given. It is very embarrassing to give that very same gift to the person who gave it to you or someone close to him or her. This happened at a couple’s wedding shower not to long ago. My friend’s niece hosted a wedding shower for her sister and after everyone had eaten and the gifts were opened, she had a few games to play. She had some little prizes for the winners of the games to make it a little more fun for everyone to compete. She wanted one more gift and said that she had the perfect one in her cabinet. She was standing behind my friend when she got a pair of brown, bees wax candles out of her cabinet and said, “I don’t know what these are or who gave these to me but they have been in the cabinet for a long time. Oh, they are candles I think.” Everyone was laughing and then my friend turned around and said, “I gave those to you a couple of Christmases ago.” We all had a good laugh but it was embarrassing for both of them I am sure. You must always label the gifts with the date and who gave it to you to avoid this very embarrassing situation.
Please, please remember to remove any tags that are attached to the gift. This seems like a very common sense idea but if you do not do it immediately you will forget about it – – trust me. When I am opening a gift, I will stick the tag or card down in the side of the box after I have opened the gift and then I forget that it is there. I received a desktop water fountain for my birthday last year. Since I have children and animals in my home, it is not the best idea to have running water on my desk near my computer and work. I had put the gift tag in the box as I always do and put the box up on my shelf. I decided to give it to my mother for her birthday this year because she had admired one in the store a few months before. However, I forgot to remove the gift tag so when she opened it there was the gift tag saying Happy Birthday. Since it was my mother, we just laughed about it although it would have been truly awkward if it had been anyone else.
Do not re-gift using a box that is torn or tattered. This is an evident indication to the person who is receiving your gift that you have re-gifted. If the box is torn, remove the item and place it in tissue paper and a pretty gift bag. If you cannot do this, then I suggest you donate the item and forget about re-gifting it.
This seems silly to mention; nevertheless, I feel I must include it in an attempt to help others avoid this mistake. Make sure that the price tag has been removed from the gift. You would be surprised at the number of people who will forget to remove the price tag for this reason check the gift well before you wrap it up. You do not want to make this simple mistake after you have taken such care to conceal that you are re-gifting!