eleLike every year, next to a number of Christmas presents I liked hugely (thanks again ever so much, guys!), there were two items under the tree that I was not quite to pleased with. I speak of them in the past, because in the week since Christmas I have managed to be rid of both of them. The chocolates I didn’t like I just placed on the table one night next to the wine – and the box was empty after just twenty minutes. The black woolly hat (a nice hat actually, but black makes me look completely washed out) I handed over to my nieces. Being teenagers, naturally they adore black, and took it home with them happily.

In the past, I found dealing with presents that I didn’t like very difficult, and usually dithered for ages before throwing them out or passing them on to someone more appreciative.

Nowadays, I have become quite ruthless. Everything I get and don’t like, either gets handed on immediately, or it goes into a big drawer where I keep all the stuff I am planning on giving away in the future. There are gifts I have already scheduled for a niece’s next birthday next to some pretty candles and napkins I keep in store for surprise invitations. And there are the white elephants from Christmasses and birthdays past, which, by the way, do get thrown out if I haven’t found a new use for them after a year or two.

Fortunately, my family tends to be very open about what they would like to have for Christmas, and are not averse to suggestions from me either. This means there are next to no unwanted gifts within the family, and should one not please after all, we feel we can point this out in a polite but open manner.

The one sort of gift I am almost impossible to please with, are toiletries. I am strictly a shower person, yet almost every year someone gives me bath salts (at work and from distant family, I should add). On the other hand, I adore scented soap bars, but for some reason they have gone out of fashion as a gift, and I hardly ever get one. So sad! (And no, I don’t think I anyone I know reads this blog – more’s the pity. ;-) )

Do you re-gift? And what sorts of presents do you find most awkward to deal with?

– Rike Horstmann

8 thoughts on “Re-gifting

  1. MaryK

    “black makes me look completely washed out”

    Finally, someone agrees with me that not everbody can wear black! My skin reflects a paler shade of whatever color happens to be near it. Black is my worst color and nobody believes me unless I demonstrate!

    Ahem. Sorry for the interruption. :)

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  2. Lynda X

    Of course I re-gift! Why wouldn’t you? However, after receiving a gift I had given to a friend, I make sure I put a post-it on the gift, saying who gave it to me, and I don’t give it to that person OR anyone within her circle.

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  3. Rike

    MaryK, then you’ll appreciate the following true story: In autumn, I went to a rather posh boutique to buy a cocktail dress. The assistant was very helpful and handed me loads of dresses, even refraining from telling me to try on black dresses (the majority of dresses in the shop – wouldn’t you have guessed?). Well, among the not-black dresses was a very nice one in a pattern of grey and off-white, but it had a black panel around the neckline. I put it on, and when I stepped outside the changing room, the shop assistant impulsively exclaimed: “Oh, not that one! You look ten years older!” She apologizes immediately, but I was so happy about her remark, feeling vindicated for years of telling people I can’t wear black!

    Lynda X, I don’t use post-its, but it is something I should really take up! :-)

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  4. Rike

    Sandy, I repaid her immediately by not only buying a very nice dress in purple and teal, but also a skirt and three shawls. :-)) I am planning to return there tomorrow to see what they have on sale. Shops with salespeople as honest and competent as this land on my to-return-to list immediately!

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  5. CindyS

    I love the dress one! I’m not a thin woman and went into a fancy dress store knowing the cut of dress that would flatter me. The saleswomen didn’t even argue and said it was nice to work with someone who knew ‘what not to wear’.

    I got a pair of candle wall sconces for my secret Santa – it was out the door the next day as my friend has ‘leafy stuff’ on her walls and funny enough the glass for the candles were amber – matching the rest of her lights in her home.

    I do the same thing with chocolate or stuff I don’t prefer – I put it out or take it to the Godkids.

    I’m thinking that I might need to start the post-it method as my memory is not as good as it once was.


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