A 12-Step Guide to Holiday Re-Gifting

‘Tis the season of giving!

It is better to give than receive.  I think that’s how that goes.  I dug into my historical vaults to find the origins of this nobel sentiment.  Scholars debate the first time these words were spoken.  I found the true initial utterance of the phrase and it was not in ancient biblical text.

I know it’s in here somewhere…
image from e-codices via flickr creative commons

My records reveal the words “It is better to give than receive,” were used by the very first re-gifter.

Re-gifting is the single holiday tradition that has withstood the test of time. Recent reports from an archeological excavation in Southwest Britain uncovered the original Holiday Fruitcake.  There are only three  Holiday Fruitcakes known to exist and they are continuously re-gifted from generation to generation giving the appearance of a new fruitcake.

Unearthing the First Holiday Fruitcake Image from John Atherton via flickr creative commons
Unearthing the First Holiday Fruitcake
Image from John Atherton via flickr creative commons

Re-gifting requires rules, more like actual guidelines, to pass off the unwanted crap your spinster Aunt Millie gave you last year.  You initially blamed Aunt Millie’s Dementia for the chipped and faded garden gnome.  It wasn’t until she moved to the swanky retirement condo in sunny Boca Raton that you realized she’d been using the holidays to dump her unwanted crap on you. The shrewd old bat had been planning this move all along.

Aunt Mille's Place in Boca image from Kim Seng via flickr creative commons
Aunt Mille’s Place in Boca
image from Kim Seng via flickr creative commons

In the spirit of this holiday season, I offer you the 12 Steps Approach to Re-gifting:

1. We admit that we are powerless over our re-gifting addiction and that our belongings have become unmanageable.

2. Came to believe that careful re-gifting could restore us to sanity.

3. Make a decision to turn over our less than cherished possessions, based upon assurances that they will never come back to us.

4. Make a list of friends and relatives whom you have re-gifted.

5. Never admitted to our friends and relatives that the items they received were the things you couldn’t dump at a garage sale.

6. We are entirely ready to clean out our closets and get the blank look of surprise on the gifted person’s face.

7. Humbly ask that I not re-gift the same person two years in a row.

8. Make a list of all the re-giftable items in your garage, cellar or tool shed.

9. Never make amends to those who have been re-gifted.  Re-gifting is not for sissies and requires you to be constantly on guard against unnecessary guilty “feelings.”

10. Continue to take a personal inventory of “Who Got What” to aid in your re-gifting distribution.  The idea is to come off as “eccentric,” not “cheap.”

11. Sought through prayer and mediation that you don’t receive the same item back next year.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these Steps, we share this message with all re-gifters and practice these principles in our daily affairs.

If you follow these 12 Steps, I’m certain your holiday season will be happy and bright.  For you at least.  Your Step-Cousin-Twice-Removed will fondly recall the time you gave him the talking bass wall plaque, in the original box.  You, on the other hand will be one talking bass closer to that condo in Boca Raton.

Besides, by the time they open these, you’ll be long gone.

Make Re-Gifted Items Look Nice image from stephanie kilgast

Happy Re-Gifiting Everyone!

You know you’ve re-gifted, so leave a comment and come clean on your best re-gift…

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