We all get them. Every year, there is some gift you get for Christmas that you have no idea what to do with. Or you have absolutely no use for it. Or it’s just way too cheesy and sentimental to have in your house. You also secretly suspect you just got gifted a regift.
Personally, I get ecstatic when I receive a strange gift. My mind goes straight to “Hmmm, who will I regift this regift to? Who haven’t I bought a present for yet? Look at all the money I’m saving!” And into the pile that gift goes; yes, we truly do have a basket in our home where we stick unused/unwanted gifts, and then pull it out to see if there’s anything fitting when there’s a birthday or other holiday that requires giving a gift.
If you also have a basketful or closetful or storage room full of lotions your skin can’t handle, gift cards to movie theaters that aren’t in your area, gaudy costume jewelry, framed maudlin quotes declaring your unfailing love toward your spouse, your grandmother’s old lingerie (I’m not kidding here . . . my grandmother gifted me her bright yellow lingerie one year so I would always remember her . . . trust me, Grandma, I won’t forget ya), glittery pink scarves, T-shirts that are too large, candles that make your eyes water, obnoxiously loud toys that mysteriously made their way into the regift pile when your kids were sleeping, journals upon notepads upon cat calendars, try hosting a regifting party!
With the rush of Christmas and the ringing in of the New Year behind you, your friends will love an excuse to relax, laugh, and drink wine as you throw a fantastic party that everyone will beg to become an annual one.
Here are a few tips in throwing a fabulous regifting party:
Be sure to explain what exactly a regifting party is to your guest list. If there is a guest who happens to be one of the lucky few out there who cherish and love all of their gifts they received at Christmas, they can scoot on over to their local thrift shop to pick out something to bring. If you have a guest who is desperate to get rid of more than just one gift, she is welcome to bring more than one.
*Warning: Make sure and double make sure you don’t regift a gift one of your guests has given you in the past. That sure would be awkward and embarrassing!*
After some potluck appetizers and a glass (or two) of wine, start the gift exchange. In order for everyone to see each person’s reaction to when they open the gift, I typically play it like a White Elephant gift exchange.
This is your party, though, so whatever sort of gift game floats your boat, go for it! It does make it more meaningful when you explain who got you the gift when your gift is opened; trust me, your guests would love to know the story of who gifted you that bright yellow lingerie.
If you have a surplus of gifts left over because several guests brought more than one, draw names to see who has gets to take them home.
It’s really fun if this becomes an annual party; more than likely some of the same gifts that appeared at this party will appear at next year’s party causing many belly laughs and eye rolls.
It doesn’t just have to be for girls; guys enjoy this, too! Invite couples or if you are in desperate need of a girls’ night in, by all means, just have the girls come over while the men watch the kids.
The best part of hosting a regifting party is that everyone knows these are regifts. There’s no hiding the fact that the gifts you are giving are not from you, and you don’t have to pull off the old “Oh, I saw this in the store and thought immediately of you!”
I’ll throw in a disclaimer here: I truly do appreciate all the gifts I receive at Christmas and birthdays and various other events. It’s just that as time goes on and kids grow up, spouses get deployed, PCSing moves you further away from family, and the home becomes more cluttered, I’m more grateful for the gift of togetherness around these holidays. Watching the kids’ creativity blossom with less toys rather than more, and putting “strong-suctioned vacuum that cleans up boy messes easily” on my Christmas list rather than diamond earrings is the stage I’m entering into.
I’m not saying to stop giving gifts; how else am I going to host a regifting party without the dog picture mugs, the neon flower vases, the trivia books, and the bathroom soaps? After all, it’s the thought that counts . . . right?