It is a social phenomenon first publicly acknowledged in the mid-’90s by the popular sitcom “Seinfeld.” It is the taboo rarely discussed but commonly practiced. It is … regifting!
With the holiday season rapidly approaching, the purchase of gifts is on nearly everyone’s mind. Yet every year it gets harder and harder to find an adequate gift for those nearer to the bottom of your Christmas shopping list.
Many have found the answer to this dilemma by regifting, or giving presents which they have once received themselves. It also frequently occurs due to lack of time in the holiday season.
When talking about the subject, a friend of mine admitted to regifting once because she forgot to buy a present for a secret santa party. Before she ran out the door, she grabbed one of her least favorite body sprays. To hide the fact that the perfume was more than a little used, she filled the bottle to the top with water, threw it in a bag with some tissue paper and ran out the door to the party. Nobody was the wiser.
There is also, of course, the crazy aunt in every family who, instead of sending money or a gift card, will go through her entire closet and find the random things that are no longer of use to her and send them to you. She never happens to think that maybe they will be useless to you as well. It’s gifts like these that are impossible to regift again.
For high schoolers, when money is low, regifting sometimes seems like the perfect option. Yet, as a rule of thumb, you should never regift anything that you have used. These are considered hand-me-downs. Hand-me-downs and regifting are two entirely separate things. With regifting it is supposed to look like you actually tried, not like you’re cleaning your room and trying to get rid of stuff. Candles, soap, random books, and mysterious CDs are dead giveaways of regifting as well.
So, if everyone does it ” and there are cases where it is extremely hard to avoid ” how do you do it right?
First off, never admit to regifting. People will become suspicious of every gift you give. You also must be very cautious never to give someone a present that they gave to you. In this case, there is only one thing to say, “I liked the one you gave me so much that I thought I’d get you one, too.” Then cross your fingers and hope the recipient doesn’t catch on to your alibi.
Never keep a gift you are planning to give away again in the same wrapping paper. Someone may remember a very familiar package that you yourself received about a year ago. Also, make sure that you remove all of the original gift tags. There is nothing worse than getting a gift from someone that still says, “To Meagan” when your name is Cassidy.
Of course, if the thought of regifting makes you ill, there are some other options to getting rid of those hideous, useless, or stupid gifts. Some regifts can be very funny for the proper occasion, perhaps that white elephant party? There are also some cases when you don’t need that sweater or scarf that was given to you. Donate them to a second-hand clothing store. The next option is to sell it on eBay. If nothing else, you can use the money that you make to buy someone a real present.
On the subject of regifting, the Student of the Month, Andrew Matson, commented that there is an ugly sweater circulating in his family. “No one wants it. They just keep trying to give it away again. I’ve regifted it before.”
Andrew was born in Oklahoma. He moved to Glenwood from Warrensburg, Mo., five years ago. Andrew lives with his mom. He also has two older brothers, Robert and Stephan. He says, “Stephan is my hero. I really look up to him.”
In school, Andrew is a member of FBLA. He also started the Animation Club, where he teaches GSHS kids how to animate with a computer program called Flash MX. Mary Lamb, a technology/computer teacher nominated Andrew for Student of the Month, citing that he is the “GSHS Flash animation expert.” When Andrew is not helping students work with these programs, he likes to make cartoons on the internet for his site, http://www.myevilplantosavetheworld.com.
Recently, Andrew got his first job as an animator. He will be making cartoons for DevineAudio, a company in California. He says, “It’s my first paying gig, so I’m happy to do it.” In five years, Andrew is going to be making video games. He’d like to start a company that will make nonviolent, humorous video games for kids.
Andrew says that his favorite quote is, “I have an evil plan to save the world!” He has always enjoyed saying this. “I want to save the world one day, and I’m sure I will as soon as I pass my physics exam!” My sentiments exactly. Merry Christmas.
Cassidy Willey is a senior at Glenwood Springs High School.
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