I’m pretty sure my mother would have rather had a scarlet letter sewn to her dress, than to be labeled a regifter.
Regifting was something that simply wasn’t done.
My mother taught me that when someone gave you anything, it was your duty to thank him or her politely, and then keep it … F-o-r-e-v-e-r!
Taken to the Extreme:
In my parent’s attic, when I was about ten, I discovered a stack of boxes.
Inside, each box was a brand new toaster, all wedding presents I was told.
Ahhh, this would explain why although other parts of our house had undergone many updates and renovations, our toasters always had the same sort of art-deco style lines as the grill on a 1952 Pontiac Chieftain*.
Politeness or Hoarding
I have recently discovered by using the internet, that the toasters that I grew up with were mostly all “1951 Model, Sunbeam Radiant Control Toasters”** and I remember them fondly. This is not only because the chrome-finish was so deep that you could reach into your own reflection, and seemingly touch a parallel universe. No, it was because unlike any other toaster I’ve ever seen, these toasters had no handles to push the toast down. To work it – you simply put bread into the slots. And, as if by magic, a little motor would slowly lower the slices down; a few seconds later the motor would whir again, and up would float your toast!
One wedding equaled nearly a lifetime’s supply of toasters!
Throughout my teenage years, whenever, the motor’s ya-ga-ya-ga grrrrr sound would get too loud, signaling the kitchen was about to fill up with smoke, I’d grab for the brown fabric cord, pull it out of the outlet, take the toaster out to the trash, and head upstairs, for another one.
That was then this is now…
Today, over 75% of Americans believe that regifting is totally socially acceptable . With most admitting to regifting, on average four gifts per year, according to a poll conducted by American Express.
Top Items Regifted = Kitchenwhare!
Yes, presumably 20% of all kitchenware gifts are regifted, today. These numbers spell good news for storeowners worried about returns, but my mother would tell you she abhors them.
She’d points to statistics like that, as proof positive; we’ve been in societal decline since the Kennedy years.
Get With The Groove, Mom!
Even the last bastions of civility, The Emily Post Institute, which still admonishes people against the evils of regifting, have conceded ground by publishing a list of circumstances under which regifting may be acceptable, (for practicality purposes).
So, Is It Okay To Regift?
Well, one must always keep the original giver’s feeling in mind.
After all, when someone gives you anything, he or she has at least entrusted you with a resource they could have easily spent on themselves.
Therefore, it would be wise to consider only regifting scenarios, which honor the original givers generosity.
Pass It Forward!
If someone has given you something, that you clearly can’t use, don’t want, or have room to store, and you can’t think of anyone in your immediate circle for whom regifting it to would be appropriate, you may consider regifting it to your favorite charity.
Regifting to a deserving charity, is often the best way to honor the original givers generosity while clearing out your closet – with a clear conscience!
“Oh no, you did not go there!”
Yes I did. Giving is not just about warm fuzzy feelings.
If you’re lucky enough to be reading this article around Christmas time, I wanted to remind you that you only have a few days left before the end of the year.
That means, you need to hurry and give, give, give!…
…If you want to use anything you give as a deduction for this year’s taxes!
For information about what charities qualify, what you can give, and rules about taking deductions see the IRS’s Publication “Six IRS Tips for Year-End Gifts to Charity”:
A Warning About Regifting and Fruitcakes:
To begin, a fruitcake is not a gift.
It is an abomination!
Mathematically it’s the only instance wherein one can add two positives (fruit + cake) with a negative result.
One should always consider receiving a fruitcake as an unsubtle warning, and try to determine what the giver has against you.
Similar to waking up with a horse’s head in your bed, unwrapping a box and finding a fruitcake inside should let you know that you have not made someone in “the family” happy.
If considering the moral and social implications of regifting, year-end taxes, or what you may have done to deserve a fruitcake – are stressing you out this holiday season…
Why not consider taking a short break to watch a YouTube video, staring my favorite toaster!
Extra Stress Releasing Resources Links That You Can Follow…
* Cool picture of a 1952 Pontiac Chieftains Grill on Wikipedia
** A website that is even more crazy about “Sunbeam Radiant Control Toasters” than I am!: