‘Tis the season to let go of all judgment. Wait, it’s always that season.
Ok, starting over:
‘Tis the season to embrace the realities of gift giving and let go of all judgment.
1) Never be upset if someone re-gifts a gift you gave. So what if you got it wrong, people’s tastes are impossible to ever really intuit. Plus doesn’t it show they think enough of you to know you won’t be hurt if they pass the gift along. Jeez, don’t you want to be off the big old guilt trip hook if you re-gift something you received but know you won’t use? Here’s just about the coolest Re-Gifting paper and cards ever, via the truly great brainpickings.org.
2) What if re-gifting lost all its stigma? I’d be so thankful. Keeping track of who knows which gift came from which person, so that I re-gift without being caught is a big pain in the butt. My memory is too far gone to keep track of another thing and I know I’d never be organized enough to keep a list.
3) Another big pro, in the pro and con of this debate, is that regifting is way less trouble than returning a gift to a store when you weren’t the one to
purchase it. Total hassle/time suck/hoop jumping thru nightmare! Even if you do get the reward of some cash in your hand it’s often not worth it. Note about that cash: If it’s less, than you anticipated are you going to feel sad that that’s all they spent? Or if it’s more, are you going to worry that they now think you’re cheap because the gift you gave them was worth less? Both dumb worries, but the brain does go places we’d rather it didn’t. Just saying the cost of that gift is always better left unknown!
4) What about giving someone something you already own? What if the person receiving it knows that fact? I think we call that sharing and I’m 100% sure that’s a way of interacting with people that should be encouraged. I had a friend who’d comment more than once about really liking a painting I had hanging in my dining room. It was her 50th birthday and I was stumped thinking of a gift. Then it hit me. Why not give her something I was sure she’d like? I wrapped that painting with my heart full of the joy of giving. I was surprised when I later learned from a mutual friend that the birthday girl had been offended by the “used” gift and hurt that I clearly didn’t valued her enough to take the time to go shop for her gift…I was sad that she didn’t realize that by giving it to her I was giving up something I treasured. My gift was more about love than as it was about the duty of bringing a gift to the party.
5) Then there’s giving used items simply because the coolest stuff is definitely not found at a mall! I love the treasures of Thrift Stores. It’s there that something unique calls out the name of a friend, “Notice me. Notice me. I’d be perfect for Beth!!” Nobody should ever be offended that a gift was once loved (or not) by someone else.
6) And, don’t even get me started on used books. Books are meant to be read and shared, not read and put up to collect dust. It’s called Read-cycling. I just about never read a book more than once.
Books go straight from my bedside table to the box in the trunk of my car filled with stuff to drop at the Thrift Store. That is unless, some aspect of the book made me think of a friend. Then the book gets a post-it with their name and is dropped into the gift box in the basement (ok, so maybe, I am a little bit of an anal organizer) to be ready for the next gift giving occasion.
7) I’m old. I pretty much have all the stuff I need. When it’s one of those times when you think I need a gift, I probably don’t. Just show up with enthusiasm and love and that will fill my heart! Really, gift giving shouldn’t be a duty. It always cracked me up that kids only give birthday gifts if they attend the birthday party. So what? If your kid barfs in the car on the way to the party, you turn around for home and keep the gift? Yep, pretty much that’s what happens. Sounds like that kind of giving has little to do with real giving and everything to do with duty. Gift and duty are not synonyms.
How did we get so twisted up about giving? I say lose the rules, abolish obligation, give when it feels right, and not when it doesn’t and positively never keep track of who gives what with ideas of ranking value.
Enough preaching!! LOL!
Smile. Be happy.