Thursday, November 4, 2010

To re-gift or not to re-gift...

Ah, it's that time of year again. A hint of frost is in the air, the leaves have already vanished from the surrounding trees, and a young woman's heart heavily turns to thoughts of...Christmas shopping.

What to get my grandmother who, approaching 90 years old and with over 60 grandchildren, is sure to receive enough duplicate gifts as it is?

How about for my younger sibling, so absorbed in the online world that any desired gift can be ordered instantly and cheaply from e-Bay without the cumbersome tasks of waiting until Christmas and unwrapping the gift?

On top of all these how-to-find-the-perfect-gift questions remains one: is it ever ok to give something you have already received, even if the gift is unopened?

I have a favourite aunt who would show up for my birthdays and at Christmas with clothes, makeup, or various accessories she had either bought and not wanted, or used and no longer liked, and had wrapped up for me. Since my aunt is cool and fashionable, I never minded as a kid, and I find that I care even less as an adult. This is something she liked, I reason, and she thought I would like it too. No harm done.

On the other side of the spectrum, I had an acquaintance give to me, for Christmas, the exact jar of hand cream I'd given her as a birthday gift. How did I know it was the exact one, and not just the same scent from the same company? IT WAS OPENED ALREADY WHEN I UNWRAPPED IT. I was doubly hurt - not only had she not liked my gift, she had given it back rather than get a gift for me. It seemed to speak volumes about how she viewed our friendship, and we stopped talking to each other soon afterward.

So, dear readers, where does the issue lie? If the gift suits the new recipient, isn't open or past its expiry date, and isn't originally FROM the new recipient, is it ok to re-gift, or is that the ultimate faux-pas? If you read this blog, I want to hear from you!

1) Would you re-gift? To whom? Under what circumstances?
2) What would you think about receiving a gift that was obviously re-given?
3) Is it deceitful to re-gift and not have the new recipient know the gift's origin?

Comment here and let me know!

Image courtesy (stockxchange)

1 comment:

  1. Danielle, 're-gifting' can be a big issue especially if you're in the receiving end of getting back the gift that you just gave! It must be a horrible feeling! Anyways, here are my answers.

    1) I am the type of person who really buy gifts for my family and friends. I have never 're-gifted' although in some circumstances where my kids would get the same gift item year after year, let's say a Dora backpack. My daughter already had tons of Dora backpacks and 'though she would have no use for it, she simply 're-gifted' it to a friend who had a birthday. I see nothing wrong with re-gifting in this particular instance so long as the gift item was never used and it's still 'brand new.'

    2) If I had received a gift that's re-given, I would have some questions about the motive of the person but I wouldn't judge right away. In some circumstances, I would appreciate if the giver would be honest with me if the gift's been re-given instead of a person trying to fool me that it's a new gift. It really depends on the circumstances. In fact, my daughters would give me gifts during Mother's Day but most of the things that they would give are stuff that's been given to them. I believe with kids, it's the thought that counts. Besides, they don't have money yet to buy stuff- it's the spirit of giving that counts.

    3) Again it depends. If the giver is honest enough, that would be fine. But if the giver deliberately hides it from you, then there's a question on honesty.