Thursday, October 14, 2010

Regifting? Is it your dirty little secret?

I did pretty well this year, on the birthday present front that is.
A lot of my previous success in the gift department was due to the barage of e-mails I would send the Ball & Chain in the weeks leading up to birthday or Christmas, in the hopes of avoiding a fourth set of Body Shop Body Butter. (Success there too BTW.) This year, he actually took a cue from my constant ravings about the BBC History magazine I had picked up at Heathrow airport,  - and brought me a year's subscription. I know it sounds a bit geeky/swotty but honestly, that magazine is brilliant. (No sponsorship or freebies here BTW).
My gift success this year means that I'm not confronted with the dreaded re-gifting dilemna. I swear I have a box full of gifts that have been given to me over the last few years that might as well have been bought for a complete stranger, so alien are they to my likes and dislikes.

People, I am not a candle person. Why do I get so many bloody candles? I don't have anything against candles. My neighbour always has candles on the go and her place looks fabulous and smells like a Bedouin boudoir, without the camels. She also doesn't have a pyromaniac 7 year old and the impending associated risks. Besides, candles are actually quite high maintenance; you have to make sure they don't drip, burn out and stink the place out, and, if you're really a Type A, they all need to be the same size if they're situated anywhere near each other. Far too much effort in my opinion.
In some instances, I have been known to regift a particularly pretty candle, but only to a recipient known to enjoy candles. I feel more guilty about shoving a nice gift to the back of a closet somewhere than I do about regifting.

I am also not really a manicure/spa/body-wrap type person, and on the rare occasion when I have been treated to a gift certificate for some such place, it's been more like a torture session than anything remotely pleasurable. Unfortunately such certificates are difficult to return since a) they usually have your name on b)the friend who gave the gift often wants to accompany you, and c)the spas in question doesn't sell a whole lot of other things with which to swap.

The great thing about living thousands of miles away from your nearest relative is that unsuitable gifts don't have to be worn, shared, or on display. And then of course, there's the world's biggest garage/jumble sale that I'm involved with.  The actual sale is in May but we collect all year round so it's a great way to declutter my house without the guilt of throwing things away.

What about you? Is regifting OK? What do you do with gifts you don't like?


  1. Isn't that interesting - I'm not a spa/body wrap/massage person either. Got some certificates for my 40th, gave it a try and really didn't like being prodded and touched. Felt very self-conscious and have avoided ever since.

  2. I'll have your spa certificates! I love all that.

    I have regifted before, although always feel slightly guilty about it.....

  3. I have to say I've regifted 'doubles' on the Boys' presents in the past. Who needs two Toy Story dvd's? As for myself, I tend to just let things gather dust and then they accidentally fall into the charity shop bag when I'm next going... So I suppose they are ultimately regifted - just not to anyone I know!

  4. Old but true (apologies if you have heard this before, blame age).
    Just before Mr Man was born, OH gave me a scuba diving watch for Xmas.
    Very nice, but just not me.
    I asked him (eventually) "Why?"
    "So you can swim with the baby!"
    "What? And dive to 50ft?"

    Needless to say, it was exchanged for something much nicer.

    LCM x

  5. Regifting is ok, but only if tactfully done. My son once received a game from a friend, whose daughter I'd given it to a few months previously.

    Actually, I didn't really mind, as it proved to me that other people regift too.

  6. Regifting is perfectly OK, in fact it's the enrivonmentally responsible thing to do.

    Years ago, my then boyfriend (now husband) came back from a trip with "the best present, it's so you, you'll love it." It was a great walloping concoction of dried plum and marzipan coated in white chocolate. I don't like dried plums, marzipan or white chocolate. Happily, my brother loves them both. Giddyup.

  7. I am nervous about having candles in the house (lit ones) as I have a morbid fear of fire.
    Regifting is fine if there is no chance that the secret would be discovered.

    I once sent some note-lettes to a friend who forgot who had given them to her & she sent them back to me the next year. Oh well...... they were my sort of design.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  8. Before I emigrated to Canada a girlfriend and I used to buy each other a posh brand of shower gel for our January birthdays. My first January in Montreal a box arrived with shower gel and I burst into tears. My husband quite rightly looked at me in disbelief.

  9. Spa gifts? I'm still waiting!!! Although I did meet the owner of Champneys once! (Still waiting. I obviously made no impression on him!)

  10. You are the only person I know who doesn't like spas!!! Too funny about the candles, I think they have replaced chocolates.

  11. Regifting is just fine! However, like you I only give things that I think the recipient might like, so I've also given quite a few of last year's bad Christmas gifts to the recycling shop. At least someone may use it. I do wish my British family would stop giving quite so many presents...


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