Christmas is over and I am still trying to recover from it. Trying to put things away and well, what do I do with gifts I don’t want that weren’t quite right? Can I, should I, could I, re-gift them? Doesn’t sound very “Diva” like. But I really hate waste. Some things I can return or exchange but some things could go to other people. I think I will put them in my “gift box” for later.
The “gift box” idea came from my mom. My whole life she had a box or a drawer with “gifts” for last minute occasions. Some things were new and some were not, but there was always something for that last minute birthday or anniversary or stocking stuffer. Even the guest who came for Christmas Eve dinner and stayed all night (but that is another story and he was from another country where they stay up for fireworks and food at midnight). That gift box saved the day many times and some things nestled in there were items my mom had been given but never used because they really didn’t fit her style.
If you are thinking about “re-gifting” you might want to entertain these suggestions to avoid offense.
-Don’t give something back to the person who originally gave you the gift (or anyone who they might visit) because that will end up as a “oh how lovely, I gave a vase just like that to my niece Jane.” Followed by, “Oh, that’s funny; Jane gave me this lovely vase.” That will get you written out of the will, trust me!
– If you have something not right for you, but perfect for someone else, set it aside for their birthday or some other occasion and re-wrap it and make sure they know it made you think of them when you give it. (Honestly, my favorite gift this year came from a co-worker and it was definitely several different items (thrift or garage sale) inside this really cute cardboard house! I took the gifts out and put one of those battery operated candles in it, and used the house as centerpiece on a table.
-Sometimes a gift exchange is a good place to re-gift an item, especially if it is a white elephant gift exchange. Or maybe you want to have some good friends over for libations and fun and bring gifts that didn’t work out and trade….you could end up with something really wonderful!
-If the gift is truly terrible, give it to the Goodwill or some other charitable organization. Your trash is someone else’s treasure. (Be sure to REMOVE any personal notes or identification.) Great Aunt Martha may shop the Goodwill and find that lovely floral house coat you donated especially if it has “To Jane from Aunt Martha” still on it.
-Last but not least, if you can’t part with the gift for fear of hurting the feelings of someone you love, hold on to it, display it proudly or wear it to their house and then after a respectful amount of time put it away in your own “gift box” for some later gift emergency.
…Used Clothes, Furniture and Household Stuff
I have been buying thrift for thirty years. At first it was because I was a single mom on a fixed income. I sure wasn’t born frugal. I didn’t even want to be parsimonious (or know what it meant for that matter) . I learned to thrift through necessity.
Actually, for a long time I thought that I had been born a Diva; but life proved me wrong. I had to earn that status…but that is another story. Like all aspiring Divas I wanted nice things in my home. I wanted to look good. I wanted to dress the part. And…I loved to shop. So, what was I to do?
Then someone told be about thrift stores. Well that started it. Soon I discovered garage and yard sales, flea markets and rummage sales. And after I got comfortable with that level and buried my feelings of intimidation, I started haunting estate sales and auctions. Wow…what a revelation! I was smitten, but I couldn’t share my newfound addictions with anyone because thrifting was not acceptable thirty years ago. People weren’t earth conscious or intent on going green. However, times do change. It has been many moons since I have stepped into a retail store though today I can well afford to.
What I can’t afford to do is waste money. I can’t abide by putting more stuff, unnecessarily, into our landfills. It’s not so much that I’m a diehard green proponent; it is more that I just can’t stand the thought of throwing out all that packaging that wraps new merchandise away just to get to the main ingredient.
Case in point; This room diffuser comes wrapped in plastic, rubber and cardboard…which are all thrown away! The only part that is used is the bottle, scented oil and the reeds. Not only is the amount of packaging absurd, but the glass bottle, rubber topper and reeds are eventually thrown away as well.
If this item was purchased at a thrift store, very often the packaging is off the item; however the product itself is still good.