Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Regift

by Katy on November 30, 2009 · 9 comments



The following is a reprint of a previously published post. Enjoy!

I am a big fan of the regift.

We all receive gifts that are not our taste, not our style, not our cup of tea.

And just because someone gave me a gift, doesn’t mean I have to keep it forever. Or frankly, even use it ever.

My favorite regift story is from a few years past.

My father and step-mother were getting married after 17 years of living together, which included a beloved 15-year-old daughter. Their wedding was the apex of casual — just a gathering of three friends plus family members in their living room. A minister officiated.

It was so casual that my little sister had to be called to come down from her room, because, “your parents are getting married!”

She wore jeans.

My father and step-mother were insistent that they didn’t want any presents. I tried to tell them that I would like to buy them something special, but they were quite firm on the matter.

So I snuck into their house and stole their Cuisinart food processor.

My step-mother is an incredible cook, and she uses her food processor on an almost daily basis. It is her beloved baby, and I shudder to think what would happen if she were asked to choose between the Cuisinart and a loved one. (I think we’d be out on the street faster than you could say, “pureed soup.”)

She called me up a few days later, asking me if I remembered seeing the Cuisinart when I was at the house last.

“Hmm. . . I don’t really remember. Why do you ask?”

“I think someone broke into the house and stole the Cuisinart!”

“No? Really? That’s insane! Walked past the stereo and computer and stole the Cuisinart? There must be a rational answer.”

The evening of the wedding rolls around, and I show up with a big heavy present, wrapped in traditional shiny silver wedding paper.

My step-mom was dismayed that her wishes were not being honored.

“Oh no Katy, I told you we didn’t want any presents!”

“But I really wanted to get you something special. Something I knew you would use and appreciate.”

(I’m playing it for all it’s worth at this point, and having a lot of fun.)

We sit down and my step-mother opens her wedding present to find . . . her own Cuisinart! Complete with splatters of food and dustings of flour!

It was a hit.

And my step-mother still can’t tell the story of her wedding present without peals of hysterical laughter.

Like regifting stories? The website has a great archive of people’s most mortifying regifting stories. They’re wonderful, and it’s certainly the season for it.

Do you have any good regifting stories? Tell us about it in the comments section below.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Carla November 30, 2009 at 7:30 am

I have to say that is the ultimate re-gifting story, Katy!

We received some butane candlesticks (?) for a wedding present from friends. Hello? After sending them on to a happy home at the Goodwill, several years later we learned that the guy had gotten them as a Christmas gift from his company or something and generously bequeathed them to us. We told him the Goodwill now owned the candlesticks and everyone had a good laugh over it. It was one of our most memorable wedding gifts.


Kris-ND November 30, 2009 at 1:33 pm

That is a great story!


allison November 30, 2009 at 7:25 pm

well, if any of you have any fruitcakes (I am NOT talking relatives, you guys!) you would like to re-gift I would be happy to let you have my addy. I love it. I used to work at a place where everyone hated it and I could get all I wanted -I really do eat it all year round- but then I switched to an office where everyone liked it and I lost my ‘source’ .


Maniacal Mommy November 30, 2009 at 7:33 pm

That is fabulous!


Jacquelyn November 30, 2009 at 8:36 pm

Haha! Great story!


Jeni - Frugality Virgin November 30, 2009 at 9:08 pm

One time someone regifted a picture frame to me…the only problem was that there was a picture of the family member that give it to her in the frame still. She very sheepishly admitted that it was a regift and she forgot to take the picture out. That was 6 years ago and I still crack up when I think of it.


hiptobeme December 1, 2009 at 1:15 am

I had a set of handpainted ceramics that my ex boyfriend’s mother had given me. I couldn’t bear to throw them away because they were beautiful and I could tell she had laboured over painting them. Yet, hauling around these useless and bulky items was cumbersome. Especially with the emotional assciation to my ex, whether or not his mother was a doll. To make a long story short, when I was visiting home, I regifted them to an estranged friend from highschool. I have no idea if she liked them or not and I really could care less. I am free!


karen December 1, 2009 at 10:20 am

I dont know if this qualifies but since my sister & I wear the same size & she buys nice things, I offer her the option of ‘regifting’ anything from her closet cleaning sessions to me as my b-day/holiday gift (my b-day is a week before Christmas) We’re both happy with that arrangement.


chaotic kitten December 4, 2009 at 3:44 am

Hilarious story, so glad it turned out well!


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