’Tis the season to give…or regive, as the case may be.
Now before you judge me, I will tell you that I’m not very good at giving gifts, unless you happen to be my child—wait, hold on, I’m being told that those tube socks I bought for my son were NOT in fact his favorite present ever.
Yeah. It’s gotten so bad that McIrish has taken to buying his own gifts, then asking me if I’d like to wrap them (I pass).
I don’t plan to re-gift. It’s only in emergency situations. Say, for example, that a friend comes over at Christmas time. Though we had previously agreed not to exchange gifts, there she is, gift bag in hand, the insenstive clod. My thoughts go something like this: “Dang it! I hate her! How dare she! What do I have, what do I have?” I cast my eyes wildly about home. Box of pasta? No. Half-eaten bag of pretzels? No. Slightly used candle? No. My new bra that I only wore once? Maybe.
“Hi!” she calls merrily. “I know we said we weren’t doing presents this year, but I saw this and thought of you.”
“Oh, you shouldn’t have!” I say, so meaning it.
“It’s just a little something,” she’ll say modestly, glancing under my tree, then quickly averting her eyes from the emptiness there.
Inside the bag is inevitably something fabulous. She smiles demurely. “Remember the time twenty-seven years ago when you said you wished you had a fountain pen made from raw amethyst with unicorn tears for ink? I found it.”
It’s that, or a half-empty (half-full?) bottle of wine.
So, yeah, I admit it. I keep a few “probably won’t be used” gifts on hand to regift. The scented candle whose overwhelming cinnamon-clove-juniper-head-of-a-newborn-baby scent makes me go into anaphylactic shock? In the broom closet on the regifting shelf. The make-it-yourself Christmas Peeps kit? On the shelf. The socks from my mother that are printed with juggling cats? On the shelf (unless you happen to be my mother, in which case those socks making my feet laugh right now.). The bottle of Kitty Paws cat shampoo I bought in error for the kids? On. The. Shelf.
The best regifting story I’ve heard, however, comes from a family member who shall remain nameless. She had forgotten that there was a Yankee swap happening at work and didn’t have a handy anaphylaxis-causing candle to grab. But someone had given her a thermal food carrier she’d never used. So she grabbed that and went off to work. Her boss ended up with the food carrier. “Oh, how great!” the boss exclaimed, unzipping it to look.
And inside the carrier was a dirty lasagna pan from quite a few months before.
Looked like my relative had used it after all.
Thus, if you get a hanger from me this Christmas, or any of the items listed above, I have a confession to make. You’re my favorite. ; )
Ever regifted anything? ‘Fess up!