Now that the season of gift giving is behind us, I thought it seemed apropos to bring up the dirty, dark topic of re-gifting! If you are completely naive to this topic, I applaud you. But I know there are many of out there who are either guilty as charged, while others are simply the victims. No matter which side you find yourself on, it’s usually not good. Or is it?
I forgot all about the “art of re-gifting” until my mom gave me a couple of re-gifts for Christmas. Before you gawk, her reason for doing so was understandable. She re-gifted a couple of Christmas ornaments because she never gets a tree anymore (my parents travel the entire week of Christmas), so I was elated to put these gifts to good use.
Ok, so that was a successful re-gift. Now here’s a story of when I tried to re-gift and it went horribly wrong…
Before I begin my story, I will say this was the only time I’ve ever re-gifted (other than gag gifts where/when it doesn’t matter) and you have my word I will never do it again! It happened about eight years ago – just after I got married. Someone gave my husband and I a glass pitcher with four matching wine glasses – all of which were delicately hand painted – but with bright pink flamingos! Don’t get me wrong – this was not an obnoxiously ugly gift (the art was actually tastefully done); a flamingo motif was just not something my husband and I would normally have around our house.
Fast forward six months later and my boss (a female) gets married. She was in her early fifties, this was not her first marriage, and she had a small wedding (of which I was not invited). I, of course, still wanted to get her a wedding gift and I grappled for weeks about what to get. Coincidentally she happened to be a fan of pink flamingos….she had the kind of home decor that would lend itself to such a design…and yes…you see where this story is going…
So I did the deed and re-gifted our gift. The box had never even been opened – the pitcher and glasses were still wrapped up separately in bubble wrap from the manufacturer.
Horribly, a few days later she stops me in the hall to tell me how much she loved my gift, but one of the wine glasses was broken when she opened the box. She asked me where I got them because she wanted to replace it.
I’m sure I looked like the quintessential deer caught in headlights – with sweat dripping off my brow! I had absolutely no idea where the glasses came from. So in a panic I insisted that I replace the glass for her (although she kept insisting she’d replace it!), and explained I did not remember the name of the store but I could easily go back. OMG I am going to hell!
It seemed like weeks – but it probably just took a few days – and I was able to track down where the glasses were bought. I remembered the manufacturer’s name, but back then you couldn’t just “Google” anything and locate it instantly. As luck would have it, I happened to see similar hand-painted glasses at Belk so I tried desperately to find one more flamingo glass – and scoured every Belk within 20 miles. None of the stores carried that design. My flamingo glasses were bought in a Belk store in Florida. But of course!
Since no Belk store employee could help me and I was in sheer desperation, I called a buyer in the corporate office at Belk and explained my situation – not that I re-gifted and was about to get caught (ha, ha) but that I received a gift that was broken. She did not immediately know where to locate another flamingo glass, but eventually tracked one down and mailed it to me. I gave it to my boss who was elated…and several weeks later…while at my boss’ home for “Book Club”…I saw the entire flamingo set proudly displayed on a baker’s rack in her kitchen.
Despite the happy ending, the entire situation mortifies me (and kind of makes me chuckle at the same time). So that’s my big confession. Now it’s your turn to fess up. Have you re-gifted, and how did it go? Or tell us some of your favorite re-gifts you’ve received!