I’m all for reusing, repurposing and repositioning. But, unless you have been given two of something stunning, innovative or interesting – or relevant to a hobby or interest of mine: I don’t want your leftovers. I especially don’t want something you got in a goody bag at a charity event.
A few years ago, I received two wine glasses from someone who should have known better. Firstly that I didn’t need two wine glasses, and secondly that these particular glasses bore the inscription: “Eskom/Nederburg Wine Tasting, December 2004”. You had to know I would see that. Did you mean me to? Either way, I got the message and it wasn’t full of seasonal cheer.
I really don’t need gifts (unless they are of the aforementioned spectacular variety). But, if you really want to give me something … go simple. It needn’t cost much/if anything. Spend some time thinking about who I am and what I would like. Write me a note or make me a card. Give me a book you have read and loved (it doesn’t have to be new), write a dedication inside, telling me that. Bring me a flower you pinched from a garden with a sweet ribbon around it, or a bag of tomatoes that you grew. Bake me a cake or drop by for a cup of coffee. Send me an email with an article you think will interest me. All of these things will make me feel special.
One of the best presents I ever received was from my sister and her kids – a prepaid card loaded with cups of coffee. To be redeemed at my favourite coffee spot. It was truly the gift that kept on giving. An Orchid plant, openly regifted by a friend who doesn’t like the flower, has bloomed twice a year, three years in a row. It delights me every time.
Don’t let your set of goose-shaped pate knives telegraph to me that you think I am not worth time, money or thought. If you don’t want them – there’s every chance I don’t either. Donate the item to a charity, a shelter, an orphanage, who can use them to raise funds. Then let me know you made the donation in my name.
I’ll appreciate the gesture, and so will they.