Regifting

by admin on December 12, 2011

I wanted to get a nice gift for my nephew’s first Christmas.  My sister is very religious and has strict ideas about what are appropriate gifts for babies, so I decided that I would give my nephew his first Bible.  Looking at my bookshelves, I decided to give my nephew one of my own Bibles–specifically, a little New Testament that had been *my* first Bible nearly three decades earlier.  I assure you it was still in very good condition.

On Christmas Day, presents are opened, and my sister is very pleased with my present to my nephew (my nephew, meanwhile, is more interested in toys, which is to be expected).

Come the next Sunday, a lady asked what I gave my nephew for Christmas, and I replied that I’d given him my first Bible to be his first Bible.  The lady responded that what I’d done was known as “regifting” and was very tacky.
And here I’d been trying to be nice…   0109-11

{ 110 comments… read them below or add one }

Ann December 14, 2011 at 11:10 am

I guess OP now knows the very definition of tacky — that woman! My goodness.

What a lovely gift to your new nephew. I have a feeling you two will enjoy each other very much over the years.

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Stacey Frith-Smith December 14, 2011 at 8:45 pm

The lady who commented on your gift was not much of a lady, in my estimation. Even if you HAD been guilty of a social lapse (which you obviously were not), her only recourse upon learning of your gift should have been “how delightful!”.

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Nicole December 16, 2011 at 1:10 am

In my opinion, regifting is giving someone a gift you got but didn’t like. What you did is pass on a treasured family heirloom. That “lady” seems too crass to appreciate the value of such a gift.

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KttiPaws December 16, 2011 at 10:50 pm

I think your gift to your nephew was wonderful and valuable. I think it would be a lovely additional gift to write a personal note for him to read in the future, telling him how much this Bible meant to you and how you hope for him to get as much from it as you did.

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Gilraen December 17, 2011 at 4:43 am

Sorry but the lady that felt it was tacky certainly does not understand how family heirlooms come to be. With a little luck your nephew will pass his first bible on with the story how his aunt gave hers to him.

I have a few things like that myself. Things that were gifted from first born to first born. The objects represent my family tree. I really cannot see how that would be tacky.

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Cat whisperer December 18, 2011 at 1:51 am

Some people are just plain mean, spiteful, petty, and enjoy seeing other people squirm. These are the kinds of people who take it upon themselves to inform you, without you soliciting their opinion, that you’ve committed some kind of gaffe and have committed an act that is “tacky.”

The best way I’ve found to put these people in their place is to consider how wretched, joyless and purposeless their lives must be for them to take pleasure in seeing other people squirm. And then to make a point of avoiding these people as much as possible.

Passing along a family heirloom or an object that has some emotional importance for the people involved is never, ever, ever “tacky.”

With regard to the practice of “regifting” in general, I see nothing wrong with someone giving as a gift an item that they received as a gift, as long as the item is given in a spirit of generosity and belief that the recipient will enjoy the item. Since I prefer to believe that all gifts I’m given represent generosity and good wishes from the giver, and nobody is obligated to give me any gift at all, every gift I’m given brings joy. At least that’s how I feel.

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Alla December 18, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Wow. What an amazing, thoughtful, sweet present. You gave something that had great meaning to you both for itself, and for the fact that it was a “first”, which has now become someone else’s “first”. Someone else mentioned that this may be considered “heirlooming”, and someone else mentioned that the actual definition of “tacky” was the thoughtless woman who told you that you had been tacky.

Guess what? She’s full of lint.

You, on the other hand, are AWESOME!

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Alla December 18, 2011 at 2:01 pm

woops, edit…
… which has now become someone else’s “first”. Then some random social acquaintance mentioned…

(my bad, and I haven’t even the excuse that I type from a phone or something)

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Carol December 19, 2011 at 11:59 pm

How rude of that woman! Your gift was obviously much appreciated by your sister, and showed how much thought you put into it. It also respected her wishes and beliefs, and gave your nephew an heirloom I am sure he will treasure in the future.
Much better than a trashy piece of brand new plastic, in my opinion.

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Kate January 10, 2012 at 1:04 pm

We have a multi generational family. When my daughter was born, my sister in law gave me a lovely flower arrangement in a keepsake ceramic planter. I was thrilled with it and brought it home with me.
Later, she told me that it was the planter that my father gave her when my niece was born. I never thought of this as regifting, instead it was beautiful that she gave me something that my late father gave her to celebrate the birth of a granddaughter.
Good for you and your niece. Shame on the woman that told you off.

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