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?