Monday, January 14, 2013

Is Re-gifting Acceptable or Very, Very Wrong?

During the holidays a friend of mine asked that I write a blog sharing my thoughts on re-gifting. This isn't a topic that I would ever think to write about, but I'm happy for the request; especially since I haven't been on the blog as much as I used to be.

Although the holidays are over, the opportunity for gift giving never expires. There are birthdays, baby showers, anniversaries, recognitions of achievements and gifts from the heart for no reason other than to express love and appreciation. Each of these occasions opens the door for someone to walk through it and hand you a re-gifted gift.

I have lots of silly stories filed away in this brain of mine and I’ll share one with you.

After doing a favor for a friend, she handed me a perfume gift set, in its little gift bag, as a thank you for helping her out. Even though I knew my friend really appreciated me and my help, there was still a tiny pang inside of me because I knew the gift was a re-gift.

The reasons I knew: My friend isn't a hoarder (like me) so she doesn't keep random items in her house that she knows she will never use. My friend is more of a tomboy, not a girly kind of girl so I knew right away that she did not go out and purchase this gift set for me because she wouldn't have known where to start. 

The gift set was an expensive one, and I knew she wouldn't spend that type of money on me unless it was my birthday or some other special occasion. I knew that she would never wear such a girly perfume herself and due to her lack of hoarding, she needed to get the item out of her house.

Was I offended? Just a tiny pangs worth, but once that feeling passed (and it passed very quickly) I got over it and enjoyed my new perfume set. The perfume became one of my signature scents.  I always get compliments when I wear it and I have my friend to thank for introducing it to me.

Now, that story was nothing compared to the experiences some have had with re-gifting.

When someone close to you gives you a gift that has obviously been re-gifted it's like a slap in the face. It's rude and offensive that this person couldn't take the time and effort that you took to get them something that you knew they would enjoy. Especially when they know that your birthday and Christmas are the same day, every year and they had 365 days to think about what to get you.

Have I re-gifted? Yes, I am guilty of passing along a gift card or two when I’m low on funds and have gift cards in my possession. Would I actually re-wrap a packaged gift that someone gave me and present it to someone else as new? I don’t think I would.

I personally get joy out of seeing someone light up at the sight of the gift I have chosen for them. Some people don’t feel this way, which is why they are sloppy when they re-gift. They know that they have to get you something and they think you should be happy that you got something from them at all because you could have gotten nothing; which isn't very considerate towards you.

I’m not totally against re-gifting because in this day we are living in, some people just don’t have as much money as they used to. And also because you might be able to think of someone who would enjoy the gift more and get more use out of it than you would.

If you have to re-gift for whatever reason, don't be sloppy or lazy about it because it shows that you really don't care. And why bother giving a gift if you don't care? Take the time to scan the gift to make sure that it cannot be detected as a re-gift. And if for any reason there is a slight chance that it could be detected as a re-gift, don't pass it along. It's not worth offending someone close to you just because you want to be cheap.

Put a little more thought into the person who will be receiving your gift. Don't just pass along something that was given to you because you don't want it. If you don't want it, what makes you think that the person you are giving it to does?

And if you can't think of anything at all to gift them with, buy them a gift card. I've never heard of anyone who hated receiving a gift card. (Macy's is usually a winner for all.) Even if the gift card is for a small amount of money, it's the thought that counts. Being lazy with your gifting isn't thoughtful at all.

I love you for reading!

~Louise C.

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