December 18, 2018 is USA National Re-Gifting day. Your personal stuff-whisper discloses RE-GIFTING protocol, along with ideas for foisting away last holiday’s seasons DOGS. Before you send out invitations to your White Elephant Exchange/Yankee Swap/Bad Santa/Ugly Sweater party, read the cautionary tales below.
Amusing tales from clients about the perils of re-gifting:
My Winner: Claudine writes me that her dad, an avid golfer, liked certain balls, tees, and clubs - and no others. Yet his family, for years, had gifted him all manner of golfing gear. Dad had a locked closet in the garage filed with sealed boxes of such golfing stuff. Claudine and her sister had enough one year; they found the key, re-wrapped all the sports gear (about 200 boxes), and stuck them under the tree for Dad. Dad didn't clue up until he unwrapped the fifth re-gifted box on Christmas morning.
My Second Place Choice: Joey writes that his mom, Mrs. Jones, helped him out with a new girlfriend’s gift with a $500 gift card given to Mrs. Jones a year previously from an expensive, trendy Montecito boutique. The styles were much too young for Mrs. Jones, she explained, but perhaps perfect for her son’s new flame. When the new flame purchased $500 of fashion, the clerk said, ‘Happy Holidays, Mrs. Jones!’ - Mom’s name was in the computer system. The girlfriend, overjoyed, took this as a proposal of marriage and rushed to the son’s office to accept.
Third Place: This is a personal story of my great-uncle who one Christmas gave each of us four siblings a hamster, a wheel in a cage, and pellets. By New Year’s Eve, each of the hamsters gave birth to a litter of 10-12 babies EACH. Combined, we now had about 50 hamsters. The eternal re-gift.
Fourth Place: Larry writes that one holiday season, he gave a valuable string of pearls to his longtime girlfriend, who dumped him right after Christmas. (She had the class to return the pearls.) Larry, undaunted, gave the pearls to his new girlfriend next Christmas. She dumped him New Year’s Eve. Larry hocked the pearls.
Honorable Mention: Jackie writes that her sister is a constant re-gifter. Last year Jackie received an opened bottle of perfume. The year before, a much-washed T-Shirt. The year before, “kiddy” style, dress-up jewelry. Not the least, all the gifts were wrapped in paper from the year before that her sister had ironed.sons DOGS, in this issue. Before you send out invitations to your White Elephant Exchange/Yankee Swap/Bad Santa/Ugly Sweater party, read the cautionary tales below.
A Typical Santa Barbara Problem: All of us are friendly with an artist. We often are gifted an original painting. Oftentimes, our décor is wrong for the gift. One client of mine tells her artist friend that her painting is at the framers, but it has been ‘at the framers’ now for 2 years…
And many of us deal with Depression era babies, who were re-gifters before the phrase was coined in the Seinfeld episode “Labelmaker.” My grandmother liked to give fruitcake from the church bazaar, not too bad, except it dated from the year before….
We know what we should not give: monogrammed objects, gift with last year’s cards INSIDE the box, used beauty items, handmade stuff, GPS navigation systems, CD’s, and Bluerays, but what CAN we re-gift without impunity? Should You Be Honest?
If you have a re-gifting party, it’s all out in the open. Here’s the protocol for one such party
December 18 is USA National Re-Gifting Day, and here are the rules:
Happy Re-Gifting Day December 18
Certified appraiser for estates, inheritances and trusts.
Dr. Elizabeth Stewart's column appears every week in the Salon & Style section of the Santa Barbara News Press. Email her your questions and high-resolution photos at ElizabethAppraisals @ gmail.com
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