The following is a story I originally told on December 18, 2009, before I had my blog. I know it seems lazy to steal a story I had already put out into the universe for the sake of having a “pre-made” post, but Bob Newhart said that stealing from yourself is not stealing—and who am I to challenge Bob, really? Others may think it’s lame to recycle material that had already been used, but I feel the story is worth re-telling…
Yes, I re-gifted a gift to a co-worker this morning. No biggie. I am not at all embarrassed that I re-gifted to someone; I am embarrassed that I did not adequately cover my tracks and I got busted. Hopefully this will be a lesson to all of you fellow re-gifters out there, no matter the occasion.
A few years ago, I gifted something that I thought was cool and unique to some friends [who now live in Sweden] who shall remain nameless. When they opened the gift at my home, they seemingly liked the gift but then left it at my home—and never brought it up or asked about it again. I took that as a sign that they didn’t really like the gift or that they were not interested in it, so I decided to keep it on my “emergency gift” shelf to give to someone else at a later time. Recycled gift, recycled story—I’m subliminally messaging about going green! Yeah, that’s it…
It was a gift that I had bought with my money. It was not a gift to me from someone else that I decided to give to another person [not that there’s anything wrong with that, as long as it is done properly].
Ok, back to now. I have a sweet co-worker who, when deciding what to give her as a gift this holiday season, reminded me of the gift stashed on my shelf. Without a thought, I stuck the recycled gift into a gift bag, covered it with tissue and voila! Instant “new” gift!
This morning, as I was watching her open it, I was BEYOND mortified to see her pull the gift out of its original box, along with the GIFTWRAP and BOW that I had originally put on it for our [nameless] friends [who now live in Sweden]. When they unwrapped the gift years prior, they must have stuck the wrapping and ribbon into the box and I never noticed!
Now, I am torn with a dilemma: To address the issue or not to address the issue? At this point, my co-worker surely believes that the gift was given to me and I decided to pass it down to her. I know she saw my eyes bug out when she pulled out the old wrapping paper and bow, so I am completely busted. There is no turning back.
Or, is it alright to be content with the fact that most people re-gift at one time or another? Does it really need to be explained? Does it help salvage any of my gift-giving credibility if I come clean and am completely honest? And is the honest story any better than her just thinking that it was originally given to me instead of it being a poor, abandoned gift that I had originally intended for someone else?
A few minutes later, I opted to tell her the truth. My co-worker laughed and hugs were shared. She said she loved the gift, and she even followed up with me later on to tell me what she had done with it. And no, it was not that she had re-packaged it to give to someone else.