Remember when First Lady Nancy Reagan was revealed to be a chronic regifter who once even gave one of her young relatives a toy that was already his? Well, maybe that went a little too far. You should never wrap up and give someone something they already either gave you or simply left at your house. Just give it to them without wrapping it, ba dum pum!
But I just can’t understand what’s considered so horrid about the regifting process, especially if you’re honest about it, like I (sometimes) am. I’ll occasionally come right out and say “That one’s a regift” or “That was a freebie” while pointing out that I actually paid for the other gifts, even sometimes providing a receipt (though usually, it’s the regifted item or the freebie that friends like the best, perversely enough.)
After all, even during a recession, you’re left with a post-holiday stack of shiny, pretty swill that you wholly admire but basically don’t want. You spent all year removing the clutter from your house (and selling it on ebay), so why the fuck would you want to fill in the wonderfully empty spaces with candy cane striped swizzle sticks or penis-shaped pretzel trays? Simply wait till your other friends’ birthdays and anniversaries and give the shit to THEM. If you went out and bought them something, they wouldn’t want it anyway, so simply buck up and keep on regifting–it’s the gift that keeps on re-giving.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 6, 2009