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Present Imperfect

Posted in Food & Entertaining, and Relationships

It’s that time of year again … so, let’s talk re-gifting.

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.

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  1. It had to be said and you said it brilliantly.

    December 20, 2012
  2. this post suits me down to a T.
    I always recycle my unwanted presents and gifts by giving them to another friend or family (hope none of my friends is reading this…) and if I cannot think of anybody to give it to, I will take to the charity shop or use Freecycle….

    December 19, 2012

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