I don’t know about you but I’ve gotten some pretty hideous gifts over the years. And from perfectly normal people. In fact, some of these gifts were so astounding that I actually saw colored spots dancing before my eyes when I opened them.
I have a bunch of chums who’ve been pals for many years – and every year they travel to Big Bear for skiing and Christmas cheer. One year, one member of this group got a horrible black and gold bowling shirt for Christmas from his mom. He promptly re-boxed it, crossed his name out on the gift tag and wrote in a friend’s name in its place. This got such a big and funny reaction they’ve been doing it every since. Now the game is to guess who is getting ‘the shirt’ this year. It’s like the magic McGuffin now. Just an example of how a bad gift can make for good cheer.
My worst gift came from…well I can’t tell you that but my gawd was it terrible. Imagine lime green and navy together with matching earrings. The idea of re-gifting never entered my mind so I wore it (with the earrings) and thanked the giver profusely. After a couple of wearings though I stuck it in a drawer and now have no idea what its ultimate fate was.
Then there are other gifts. The ones you get from co-workers or new friends or not-so-close friends or distant relatives who either don’t know you, are just trying to be nice or had something had in their closet which they thrust at you when you unexpectedly appeared about their holiday party. These are the nice but useless gifts, candles, potpourri, Christmas mugs you can’t actually drink out of, food boxes from place like Hickory Farms, gift certificates for places you don’t shop at, hand-made Christmas ornaments or other crafty things like oranges plugged with cloves and tied with bows. The things you put in a drawer or the closet when you come home and forget about until you have a gift emergency and have to pull something from your stash.
But I have to wonder – do these items ever find a place to land? Are they destined to just cycle and recycle from one holiday season to the next? Do they ever find any real lasting love? Somebody paid money for them – somebody sold them – surely someone in the world likes these things? Surely somebody in the world would want to have them. Right?
We can only hope that these unloved gifts do finally connect with the family who will love and use them. Even that nasty fruit cake that Aunt Phoebe sent.
What about you? Do you re-gift or just pitch it?
I gotta go, I think this year is the year I get ‘the shirt.’ And I need to practice my surprised but delighted look. 😉