Re-Gifting: Ultimate Sin or Necessary Evil?

Re-Gifting: Ultimate Sin or Necessary Evil?

*Author’s Note: The following account has been re-told to demonstrate a point. Some of the names and facts have been changed to protect the innocent, as well as the guilty.

A few days ago, I received a gift from one of my friends*. I am a firm believer that it is the thought that counts, so as soon as she handed it to me, I was very touched. Upon opening it, I discovered a very beautiful crystal vase*. Now, I am not a big one for fancy things, but there are a few items I’m willing to spend a few more dollars on. Purses, shoes, maybe a classic, long lasting suit or designer blazer – and Mama is always a fan of some jewelry.
In short, not a crystal vase. It was very pretty, but it looked just as capable as holding flowers as the simple (and much more my taste and style, to be honest) vases that come for free from the florist. Not to mention, I actually already have a useless crystal vase, received for my wedding, that is collecting dust.

So, I did something pretty darn tacky. I Googled it. I had a little trouble nailing down the exact model, but given the size and brand, the very least she spent on it was $130.

Now, I have a pretty but useless and dust-collecting expensive gift on my hands. What to do, what to do? I could either keep it out of guilt (there is 0% chance this person will ever come to my house and observe me not using it) or I could…

Come on! Would it be so wrong? I could give it to someone who gives a crap about expensive stuff, who would be sure to Google it, and know how much it cost, and assume that I spent it on them. Where’s the crime? Who is the victim? Everyone is happy! If I were to receive something that the giver had received from someone else, I would applaud their economy and resourcefulness.

But, what is the subtext to you?
“Here, someone gave this to me and I think it’s crap, but it’s ok for you.”
“I don’t want this to go to waste, and if I could afford this, I would have bought it for you, anyway”

I have given others gifts that I received and did not care for “after the fact,” but not as the actual holiday gift. So if a person would give an item from their home that they purchased themselves and are no longer using, why not a gift from someone else that has never been used? We as a society even purchase used things online from strangers, or rent clothing that unknowable numbers of others have worn before us.

Why is there such a stigma to re-gifting? Why is it tacky? Is it because the gift giver did not pull a piece of plastic out of their purse and swipe it to earn this gift? What is currency these days? Money is an intangible idea, contained in cards and bitcoin, sentiments are sent electronically over text messages and email, nothing is actually real anymore. If you received a $100 bill as a gift, it would be an inconvenience, not every retailer will even accept that.

So, as for me, I am still on the fence with what I will do with my expensive crystal vase. I have absolutely no intention of keeping it, but I want to know what YOU would do?


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here