Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The art of regifting

Wayfarer discussed the icky sticky topic of regifting. (She mentioned it as a desi thing. Buy we're not the only regifters? I saw it on Seinfeld) There's nothing wrong with regifting but a bad one can make you wonder what that person thinks of you. (granted this could also occur with a non-regift) Isn't the whole POINT of giving a gift on a special occasion to say: We care about you? So when you get bad gifts you wonder, are they trying to tell me something? Some tips:

1. If you regift, no one should be able to tell. Yes ladies and gents, just like a nose job is bad if its obvious you got one, a regift is not good if its obviously so.

2. Do the once over. This means check for dents, signs of wear and tear, and old tape. The worst: Cards inserted in the box you did not check. One of my friends got a wedding gift with the original card inside. D'oh!

3. If you giggled and/or gagged when you got the gift: Don't regift it. Well, you ask, am I to throw it away? A perfectly intact one eyed camel sculpture?? (Seriously, I've actually received one) How about donating to charity. One man's junk-another's treasure... just don't impose your junk on your friends.

4. Is it something the recipient would even want? Think about the person. Would they like this? Pink bunny to a baby boy. A funky monkey plate set? Can you see them using it? If the answer is no- don't give it.

5. If you regift will the original gifter find out? People, if you get the gift from a friend and then pass it on to a mutual friend and its something like a purple vase with yellow dandelions stenciled... and the original gift giver sees it in someone else's house. Not good folks. Not good at all.

6. If you used it, don't regift it. I don't care how well you think you cleaned it. Or you only used it just once to test it out. Once you've used it, don't give it as a gift. Caveat: if its a close friend, and what you are giving away is something kinda high end like a roaster or a cappachino maker and you know your friend would LOVE it. Gift it but let em know.

7. If its not regift but you got it off the extra super duper clearance rack, proceed with caution for there might be a reason it was there. On my wedding we got a portable grill from the one who gave us the idea of "no boxed gifts" on the invite. Whats wrong with a portable grill? Nothing if its not retaped, broken, and used! Granted, they may have bought it new. But if its hanging by a thread in the super duper clearance rack... think about it: Will it look used? Maybe it was used.

8. If you did perchance buy it new from a widely advertised super duper clearance in the area, proceed with extreme caution. Chances are others may figure out your cheap-osity. Case in point: BBQ utensils from friends who made a whole big deal about their gift. But we knew: Home Depot penny bin. That very day, everyone and their mother bought one because it was, a penny. Still can't quite figure out what they were trying to say: We don't give a hookie dookie about you? or Nothing personal, we're just cheap?

In sum, if you're going to regift, do it well. If you don't want to spend the money on a decent gift: Don't give a gift. If you feel like never-the-less you should give a gift, how about a cheap but charming option such as a card or flowers or fresh baked cookies? And if even that is too much.. a smile is enough. Really. A bad gift can make the receipient feel that you meant to give them a message akin to a slap or scoff when you probably only meant to save a few bucks.


estarz said...

Hey there. How r ya?

Regifting - I am all for it xcept I certainly wouldnt give anything that I have used. I saw a news story on regifting a couple of years ago or something like that. It sounds so very "desi" but turns out its really not cuz everyone does it.

aragorn said...

so regifting is an art... :-? thanx for the tips anyway...:D

Aisha said...

Estarz, long time no see! Yeah I dont think regifting is a desi thing only.

Aragorn, its an art because it depends on personal discretion and taste on whether to regift a thing or not. Regifting is certainly not a science. One must handle each case on its own and observe carefully :)

Mia said...

One year my friend Letty decided to regift something she had gotten from her sister Yvonne to her sister Rosie. Only she’d forgotten who had given her the gift in the first place. Rosie didn’t like the blouse either so she regifted it to her mother . It turned out that the gift had originally been given by the mother to Yvonne. Moral of the story keep track of where the gifts originated from.

Aisha said...

Mia, lol! That is hilarious. My mom has had the same thing happen to her. She gave a tray from Mikasa to a friend and two years later she got it back from another THE SAME FRIEND. You gotta love it.

Shabana said...

I'm glad you mentioned this. I just went through it recently. Then you mentioned Mikasa. I have a source of gifts who keeps giving me Mikasas and I dont like crystal, I have a baby. It's gotten to where I open the gift and we laugh.

mezba said...

Regifting - would actually work with me if I didn't get a gift I didn't like in the first place - I find it hard to throw anything away - I might need it in the distant future. Which is why my room is a mess.

Tee said...

LOL - Good post and worthy of re-posting around the holidays.

When I was little (we're talking under 10 yrs old), I used to give my sister a book about insects - every year. LOL. I don't know why. I gave it to her from my room for one birthday. The next year I found it somewhere in the house and gave it to her again. Hee hee...

Oh - and this definitly isn't just a desi issue. Like you said, it was on Seinfeld. LOL. My MIL is an AWFUL re-gifter. She'll buy like some $1 store bathroom soaps at a yard sale for 25 cents and give them to somebody. Never give things from the $1 store! It usually says right on the bottom, "Made for DOLLAR TREE" or something right on the product. LOL.

momyblogR said...

Great post....FUNNY and great! Yeah, the regifting thing MUST be done with great care.

I've done it but mostly with the kids things. They receive something they will NEVER use and I always seem to find just the right kid to give it to. I did however follow most of you tips, lol.

As far as adult regifting...I have done that too but it's usually with people I know well and just come out and tell them...."I go this and used it once. It works great but don't have much use for it. I know you do a lot of this and thought you could put it to some use." Half the time I don't even wrap it, lol.

Hm, doens that even qualify as regifting...maybe I just am givin git away. :):)

Anonymous said...

How about getting a gift for someone from clearance while you are with them in the store! We had family over from cali and she wanted to go get something... well i took her to a department store (i didn't even think she was going to shop for me) and she went to all the clearance tables and bought loads of stuff (around 10-15 items) totaling only $100! she got my DH a tommy shirt that was on clearance for under $10 right in front of me. When we got home she gifted some earrings to me she just bought and the shirt to my DH. That was really different.

Aisha said...

Shabana, lol. But you know what STINKS about Mikasa crystal? I think ppl assume its a regift when receiving it. But its not always the case. I mean SOMEONE bought that crystal at some point? I have bought crystal for friends and then wondered "hmmm how can I prove this was not a regift?" *sigh* I guess your friend just has to trust! :)

Mezba I'm a recovering pack rat so I can relate. I have a one year rule now. If it hasnt been used in a year and I dont forsee using it in the coming year. Its gone. Nothing wrong with regifting as long as you know the person getting it would like it and you're not simply transferring junk. :)

Tee, that is so cute. It reminds me of one of my students who for Christmas gave me a tore up book on kittens. But I tell you that made me bawl my eyes out and is one of my most meaningful gifts. That book was probably one of three she had. She loved collecting books as she always day dreamed about having a library.... And she gave me one on cats because she knew I loved them. That meant a great deal. AND I AM SO WITH YOU ON THE DOLLAR STORE THING. I still remember in 8th grade I bought all my friends nice Christmas gifts (mind you, I dont celebrate it) and all I got where those dollar store porceleins that were all the rage in the mid 90's at dollar stores... did you remember those? But still they were kids.. hard to find an excuse for a grown person to give a dollar store gift :)

Mommyblogr, not sure if what you did was regift or just pass on :) Depends I guess on whehter you gave it for a psecial occassiona or not :)

Anon, wow. Hmmmmm You can't say she tried to fake it. I dont know what to say about that.... it is indeed different. How did you feel about it?

Shabina said...

hmm...i dont think "giving to charity" is the best option for crappy gifts. i mean, just cuz someone's poor doesnt mean they'd enjoy a one-eyed camel structure, no? :D

reminds me kind of seinfeld and how the soup kitchen didn't want the muffins sans tops ('they're the best part!')

Aisha said...

Shabina, LOL True True The one eyed camel still sits atop my utility closet shelf I am not sure WHAT to do with it?

I love the muffin top episode. Are you like me, everything can be related to a Seinfeld episode? I knew we were twins! :)

aragorn said...

a tips for the template - To hide the blogger nav-bar just paste the code between style tags:

#b-navbar {

Tee said...

Aisha - That is so sweet about the kitten book. I know lot's of teachers have some very sentimental gifts they have kept.

That was nice of you to buy Christmas gifts even though obviously you don't celebrate that holiday. ROFL... I'm trying to remember the porcelain figures you're talking about... The Dollar Store STILL has porcelain figures of all kinds. LOL.

Careful with the tip Aragon gave you there. (No offense, Aragon.) That does indeed hide the blogger bar BUT Blogger states in their terms and conditions that if they find out you are not displaying the bar they have the right to delete your blog... That threat is enough for me to keep it. LOL... Also, you would be surprised at how many people cruise around Blogger using the "NEXT BLOG" option - and could discover you in this way... I also really like the "Search this Blog" option when you want to find an old post.

Aisha said...

Aragorn, thanks for the tip. And Tee, PHEW I'm glad you told me... I would hate to risk losing my blog. But in any case I dont mind the search feature. It helps me find thing I wrote about a long time ago, and it matches with my text. Thanks though :)

Jane said...

Great list, Aisha. I don't think I have ever regifted but do know I have gotten a "regift". I didn't really mind at all, since it was a great gift. Perhaps I wouldn't be ok with it if it was something really hideous though.

aragorn said...


wayfarer said...

Good rules. :-)

Aisha said...

Jane, yeah a bad gift hurts...

Aw Aragorn, that expression makes me sad :( I 'm glad you gave me the advice! I wa touched at your suggestion to make the blog better:)

Wayfarer, amen :) lol

Chic Mommy said...

I always try to give a gift I would like to receive in return. If I re-gift, (usually baby clothes that have NEVER been worn) I make sure all the tags are in place and it's presented nicely in a nice box and gift wrap. Presentation is everything in a re-gift.

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ASH said...

The fact that you mention the regifting on Seinfeld as a reason for it being done by others is hilarious....given that it is fiction as well. :)

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