Thursday, December 10, 2009
Tip #214 - Regift. There I said it. Regift. Ha, I said it again! In today’s overly-materialistic and ultra-crammed-with-stuff society, if you tell me that you did not receive something in the last year that you did not need I would be surprised. I would be very surprised. So what should you do with that sweater that is the wrong size but came with no gift receipt or the bath salts that you are allergic to? Uumm, why not give them give them to someone else? Is there really something wrong with that? Perhaps Emily Post or Amy Vanderbilt thinks so, but I don’t. Yes, the purpose of giving a gift is the thoughtfulness, I agree. And for someone’s special 50th anniversary or for someone who just graduated from college, I wouldn’t expect you to regift a present. But seriously, if you are doing a gift swap for your daughter’s third-grade class, a duplicate game your child received at her last birthday party works just fine. And those bath salts you received that you were allergic to would be perfectly suitable for a hostess gift for a luncheon your friend (whom you know loves bath salts) is having.
Aren’t we all just buying too much anyway? What’s wrong with spreading around what we don’t need? And while giving stuff away would work just fine that still leaves us with having to buy even more gifts when the need arises. And think about it, if you donate to a thrift store the gifts you receive that you don’t need, and then you go shopping at said thrift store for a gift for someone else, then all you are doing is buying someone else’s gift that they parted with. So you are regifting in a way anyway, just not with your gift. So why not just use one of the gifts you received in the first place, if it would work just as well. Besides, it will save you money.
The landfills are already filled up with too much Made in China junk anyway. Let’s not add to it by buying more when it’s not necessary. Don’t be ashamed to regift; lots of people do it no matter what Emily Post says.
In Real Life (IRL) - My daughter had 14 girls at her last birthday party (and I cut down the list!). Therefore she received 14 gifts. Ugh, how many craft sets, Junie B. Jones books, and Webkinz does she really need? Until I can successfully get our friends to stop bringing gifts, I will keep using some of them as gifts for others. Yes, I try to be thoughtful in my daughter’s classmates’ gifts, but frankly out of 14 girls, a large percentage of them like Webkinz, all of them like crafts, and most of them read Junie B. Jones (not us, though; she is too sassy for my tastes). So it’s really pretty easy to regift in that crowd. Furthermore, my daughter does not need to be receiving that many presents in one day and she has no use for most of them anyway. Usually, we let her keep the few gifts that she likes best. Those that have gift receipts get returned, and the others go in a gift pile in the closet to be used for future events. I personally see nothing wrong with regifting and am happy when others do it to us. It means there is one less piece of plastic being manufactured and one more inch of space available in the landfill.
In this season of giving if you are not comfortable with regifting, then why not try to cut down on the number of gifts you exchange? We put money in a bank account for all of our nieces and nephew for Hanukkah. And we stress (and warn!) the doting grandparents that we really don’t need a thing – no, our 2-year old does not need any more cars. And the 4-year old does not need any more new dresses. But if they insist on buying, guess what? It goes in the re-gift pile. And we don’t feel bad because we warned them. How about others? Do you regift? Do you feel guilty about it? If so, check out others' money saving tips at Frugal Fridays.