on gifting bad presents

We’ve all got that one relative or friend (or maybe several relatives or friends) who never quite seem to know what makes an appropriate gift. These are the ones who gift for the sake of gifting or out of a bizarre, unwarranted sense of obligation. They give you the gift of things you don’t need/want/know what to do with… If you’re like me, you store these things away until the next garage sale or spring cleaning donation, or you exchange them for something useful (hurray for gift receipts!).

I have a long history of bad presents received from a particular familial unit, often involving giant pajamas covered in cats (note: I like cats, I do not wearΒ cats) or similar. This unit recently committed the ultimate gifter’s sin: regifting a bad present on a holiday when a gift was not expected or even relevant to the family connection.

Behold! The re-gifted “farmer’s market mug”. Price inked over, but the $2.99 is still visible beneath the ink. This was a gift received by my mother on Mother’s Day. Her relation to the giver? Not at all relevant to Mother’s Day. Neither daughter nor son. Simply an opportunity to get rid of an unwanted mug by passing it off on another.

While my obsession with cute and colorful teaware definitely stemmed from my mother’s similar obsession (a family trait also exhibited by dearest Auntie Em), I’m not sure my mom was much enthused when she received this present. How did we know it was re-gifted? It bore the signs of being hastily shoved into a bag with some of the original wrapping still attached.

Moral of the story: Sometimes people don’t expect presents, don’t re-gift something you didn’t want yourself just because you think they do. But if you choose to re-gift, remove the signs of previous gifting.

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Author: gricel d.

writer. librarian. cat lady.

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