The Horror of Re-Gifting

Horror is relative. It can mean you're scared out of your mind, or it can mean the remembrance of a mishap you'd just as soon forget.

I'd define the following three incidences as horrific…

Everyone says your mind begins to go after the age of 40. I can testify to that fact. However, before I turned forty and entertained my own misadventure of 're-gifting', I found myself quite disappointed when it happened to me.

I had given a family member what I had considered, a very nice desk set. It was from Hallmark, illustrated by Marjorie Bostien. Beautiful spring scenes enveloped a matching set of pen, note pad, address book and something else that I can't remember. Two years after giving it to this family member, guess what I got for Christmas? My daughter, who was with me when I purchased it and remembered what I had given this person, was, shall we say, 'horrified'. Her mouth dropped open and I tried to signal to her that it was okay. I re-gifted it to Goodwill. I didn't want the reminder, but as you can see, I still remember.

The next story comes at Christmas as well. I had given a family member a cute little 'designer' (Debbie Mumm) set of holiday ware. Guess what I got for Christmas the next year? My daughter's jaw dropped again and I made another trip to Goodwill.

A few years later, it was my turn to re-gift. We were short on money, so I spent the summer thrift shopping and going to garage sales. In fact, we even had a yard sale of our own that summerand a couple of friends cleaned out their closets and donated their items to my cause of raising money for Christmas gifts. Imagine my ecstatic surprise when one friend donated a brand new sleeping bag of high quality, mind you, in its original box with a smidgen of wrapping paper stuck to the side.

It was an answer to prayer. After the yard sale and before Christmas, I took out that box, tore off the previous paper and rewrapped it, so proud that I had been given such a find.

Before we knew it, Christmas day had arrived and everyone waited as the gifts were passed out. I was anxious for my son to rip open that box and see that he got what he really wanted. I asked him to save it for last. He complied and as everyone watched, he unwrapped the box.

“Awesome!” he announced for all to hear. “It was the one I wanted, too!”

He opened the end to pull out the bag and what did he find? It was filled with pieces of scrap fabric. I had never checked inside the box before wrapping it up.

“Oh, it's a do-it yourself sleeping bag,” someone said.

“Don't tell me you bought this from someone at a yard sale and never checked it,” my son said.

You can guess what I was out shopping for the day after Christmas and it wasn't a sale on wrapping paper.

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