Hey y’all! I just heard that today was International Regifting Day– which, of course, brought to mind a helpful guideline I wrote on the subject in my last book, Sue Ellen’s Girl Ain’t Fat, She Just Weighs Heavy. In the event that you haven’t read that book, (and I will forgive you if this is so), I offer you those thoughts here as a little Merry Christmas post!
Belle Rules of Regifting
This may surprise you, but honestly, I don’t think regifting is necessarily synonymous with bad manners. The gift that keeps on giving can be quite thoughtful, if not downright entertaining, especially if all involved have a funny bone. Consider the porcher whose father-in-law once received a jogging suit from her brother and sister-in-law. The next year they found it in his closet, still in the box with the tissue paper and promptly gave it to him again! Poor man was clueless until the family filled him in. The suit has since continued to make a yearly appearance. Leslie says it’s in its second decade and it’s almost back in style, in a retro kind of way.
Still, because not all regifting stories turn out so well, and some of you are bound to get desperate as the big day closes in, I, Belle of All Things Southern, feel compelled to offer four easy guidelines to help make shopping at home as socially acceptable as it is financially rewarding.
Number 4: Consider expiration dates. Items predating the current season will mark you as a tacky regifter. Say no to pet rocks and lava lamps.
Number 3: Monitor the monograms. Initials really should match unless you’re confident you can keep a straight face while trying to sell the recipient on it being an acronym, as in, “I swanee, it stands for Peachy Good Friend! Really!”
Number 2: Don’t regift in the same circles. Regifting his family gifts to yours may work, and vice versa, but remember, your mama, her mama, her sister, and her sister’s sister know what who got whom ten years ago. It’s their job and they’re good at it.
And the #1 and most obvious Rule of Regifting: Don’t regift the gifter— which reminds me of another similar Christmas faux paux— reusing crumpled gift bags! My own son, who’s apparently allergic to wrapping, has been known to open your gift to him and disappear, only to return with his gift to you in the same bag. (I’m looking at you, Phillip.) You must be very charming to pull this off, and you may very well be. I’ll leave you to make that call
As we say around here, “Tell the truth and stay in church.” Are you a regifter?