Kristan Higgins
Kristan Higgins


Jaunty Post

’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.”

“And here’s a hanger for you!” I say. “It’s new. Fresh from the dry cleaner’s last year.”

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!

23 thoughts on “Regifts, I’ve had a few

  1. Ann s. says:

    Great post, I loled, can you put an ed after lol? I confess to regifting a lovely basket of Colonial hand made soaps. Unique lovely idea that smelled like lye. I took it to a company party for a white elephant gift exchange. The gifter didn’t work with me and I apologize to the current owner who has either regifted or really dry skin.

  2. Liz Flaherty says:

    I’ve regifted. My biggest fear is returning something to someone who gave it to me in the first place, because my memory’s so…not.

  3. DebK says:

    Regifting is just another way to respect the environment. 😉 (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!) When I receive items that I appreciate but will never use I put them aside with a post it note on it telling me who gave it to me. That way I don’t make the dreaded mistake of giving it back to the person who gave it to me (who may have actually regifted if from someone else.) Participating in Secret Santa gift exchanges at work are a perfect opportunity to do some regifting!

  4. Tracy Gilpin says:

    I’ve regifted things and am not ashamed to admit it. The family used to buy me bath and body works shower gels/lotions, which is great unless you happen to be allergic. Took a few years of me reminding them that I can’t use it before they finally stopped buying it (and how do you disappoint the niece who saved her allowance and bought at the school’s “Santa’s Workshop” that heavily flowered scented lotion?). So, they would in turn get the gift sets for their birthday or Christmas, or they would be used as gifts for co-workers.

  5. Yes I have to say I have re-gifted. Although I usually always have extra candles or bottles of wine and wine bags around, that is always a safe bet unless the people don’t drink, then it is a candle…LOL Have a great Holiday!

  6. Who me? Regift? Nawww. I have reused Christmas gift bags, who hasn’t. Seriously. I’ve never, ever bought a gift bag in my life. I did give a gift in one of those bags one year and I had put a homemade gift tag on it without realizing that my MIL had taped one of those sticky labels on it the year before. The recipient said, “Oh, this one isn’t for me. It says so and so on it.” I was a little panicked and made up some silly excuse because although everyone does it, no one talks about it.

    Other than that I’m agreeing with Deb K.


  7. Karen says:

    I regift. But only the nice items. And only on a small scale. The ones that aren’t really for me but would clearly suit another person. The horrid ones I toss.

  8. CateS says:

    I regift & use bags I’ve received gifts to do so! I will say that if I’ve received something truly so not me… I donate it to Goodwill/Salvation Army… And I’m with Tracy… some of that lotion/bathgel stuff is the terrible – even if you’re aren’t allegeric!!

  9. We generally re-gift repeat gifts that my kids get. It never fails, my mother will buy them another Scooby-Doo video or Legos ensemble that they already have. So we set it aside and put it in a gift bag (re-used) for birthday parties when we’re like, “oh crap, we forgot to buy Sammy a gift.”

  10. Shana Shana says:

    So here’s my problem. I get cute things like candles or picture frames that I can’t use and think, “Oh, I’ll save that and re-gift it.” Then I forget and buy something new. So I have a closet full of re-giftable items if you ever need something, Kristan!

  11. Nikki H says:

    You made me laugh out loud and I woke the dog. Happy Regifting!

  12. governess4hire says:

    You are absolutely hilarious. Thank you so much for the post. I laughed and enjoyed this so much. 😉

    I have re-gifted before but it’s been years. I got a picture frame for my baby shower that I would have never used and truthfully it was a little gaudy. Don’t get me wrong, I like some things gaudy but not this frame. I was so glad when my sister-in-law got pregnant. I gave it to her at her shower. She said she loved it but I’ve yet to see it at her house. 😉 Maybe she re-gifted it?

  13. Shanah says:

    I’ve got to go back and re-read because as soon as I got the the cat eating the peep, I snorked my coffee. :mrgreen: Happy Monday!

    1. Shanah says:

      Still laughing! Our friends used to have a white elephant Christmas party, and oh boy were those some unique re-gifted gifts. I wish I could think of a good one right off hand, but my mind is blank.

      I inevitably ended up re-gifting books, but it got to the point where the white elephants kept coming back to the parties, so they stopped having them.

  14. Connie Fischer says:

    I regift but only to family members. I don’t give these things away as an actual Christmas or birthday gift. I simply tell them the truth, explain that I really don’t have a need for this and ask them if they would like to have it. Anything on the junky side gets donated.

    I love the dirty lasagna pan story! You gave me a good laugh on that one!

  15. Kathryn Jane says:

    I regift (but call it sharing) constantly! I’m allergic to pretty much everything, including all the good foods and smelly stuff. So I pass them on to friends and relatives as sharing because I’d hate them to go to waste.

    A friend of mine has a family tradition of a gift that’s been regifted for nearly twenty years and is always a entertaining moment. A nice old fashioned Whoopee cushion, always opened in the group but then slipped under an unsuspecting tush to set the whole group laughing and reminising about Christmas past.

  16. Terri Brisbin says:

    Kristan –

    Okay …. I confess – I have and do regift. I don’t plan on it but I take advantage when I can. I don’t want a well-meaninged gift to go to waste.

  17. RobynDeHart RobynDeHart says:

    Yeah, I’ve done it, but not for anyone I really liked. 🙄

    Great blog!

  18. So glad I’m not alone! Here’s to hangers for everyone!

  19. catslady says:

    I can remember getting two irons for wedding gifts so I kept the nicer one and since I didn’t know where it came from, the next time I had to give a gift for someone I really didn’t know well…for all I know it was already regifted lol.

  20. Lynsey Peterson says:

    What a great topic to blog about. I can’t remember the last time I regifted something, but I’ve definitely thought about it. Mostly things I don’t like or can’t use I donate so I don’t have to think about it. Thanks for sharing. I loved your story!

  21. Shannon says:

    Kids toys. We have so many and some of them are no longer age appropriate.

  22. Melody May says:

    Yes I have. But it was something I had, and I didn’t want to have three of them. It was a pampered chef classic batter bowl. I already had like two, so I gave it to a friend. So, it wasn’t a crappy gift.

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