I’m writing this on my new tablet from my living room couch, amidst a clutter of boxes, instruction manuals and power adapters. In the space between Christmas and New Year's I think a lot of our homes are in such a state of disarray.
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I was watching “A Christmas Carol” a few nights ago with my family. During the ending scene, when Scrooge has become a changed man, he buys the Cratchit family a big turkey and then runs into a toy store and begins indiscriminately buying everything in sight.
My daughter turned to me and said: “Now he's spending too much money, Dad. He’s going overboard.”
Obviously Scrooge does go a little overboard, but he has an excuse – he’s just spent the night with three ghosts and visited his own grave.
Regifting has become a dirty word, but I think it is time to change that.
But don't we all know people who go little overboard during the holidays? In fact, according to a recent survey Americans spend $16 billion annually on holiday gifts that end up in the garbage. What should be done about this?
I won’t even discuss the idea of returns. After Christmas season, I’m sure most Americans would rather do anything than go back to the mall. I certainly much prefer the peaceful serenity of a landfill to the customer service counter of a retail store.
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There’s a certain type of person who is willing to return things to stores. And if that is you, by all means, you have my blessing. I think you are a stronger person than I am.
But the rest of us need a solution. Regifting has become a dirty word, but I think it is time to change that. Emily Post, the expert on etiquette, has a problem with regifting – she says it is “inherently deceitful” and can lead to “hurt feelings.”
Well, perhaps the only reason we're deceitful about regifting is because we’ve allowed ourselves to be shamed by people like Emily Post!
I think there should be a second holiday where everybody gives each other gifts they don’t want. It’s like a Secret-Second-Santa.
And don’t limit regifting to just friends, neighbors and family. There are many charitable organizations that could use your regift.
So if you think you’re not going to use a gift, don’t even cut through the plastic packaging with your shears. Just donate it directly to someplace like the Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, or Toys for Tots by clicking on the links on their names. Or pick another charity of your choosing.
To give is better than to receive, but to regift is divine. And it will help you clear out some of that clutter in your home. Happy New Year.