59. The Re-Gift

59. The Re-Gift

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Merry Christmas!

The Re-Gift

Well, if he can re-gift, why can’t you de-gift?

~Jerry and George, Seinfeld

Now, since it is Christmastime and thus the season of forgiveness, I must confess, I have a dirty little secret. Before any of you get worked up, you better know that you all probably have one too. I am a closet re-gifter. (Gasp!) I know. Not only am I a closet re-gifter, but I actually have a closet that is just for my gifts to “Re”!

Don’t judge me. Re-gifting is a longstanding Southern tradition. I mean, waste not want not, right? Most of you probably have a shelf or a drawer at home that houses some things that are nice but just aren’t for you. SO, rather than throw them away, you save them for a rainy day when you realize you need just the right thing for that person you totally forgot about.

My re-gifting is an inherited trait. My mom keeps a cabinet above the washer and dryer filled with goodies to give. And my grandmother? One year she gave my mom this really interesting sweater on Christmas Day. After dinner we pulled the videos and we watched everyone open the gifts from the year before. What did we see? My grandmother receiving the exact same sweater that she had just given my mom! Coincidence? No. Certifiable? Yes. So see? There was no way I was gonna be able to avoid my re-gifting dysfunction.

You would think I would learn my lesson since I have had a re-gift or two backfire on me. Once, I sent my cousin, who lives in California, a wedding present from my stash… a clock that was given to me on my birthday by my crazy Aunt Nadine. It was… unique. I truly thought she would love it. Weeks later I received a thank you note for my thoughtful gift:

Dear Erica,

Thank you so much for the wonderful clock. I was a little confused when I opened it up and there was a card inside that said, “Happy Birthday Erica. Love, Aunt Nadine”

Busted! But even after all that, my affliction remains. I mean, I promise I’ll quit someday. First, I just have to get rid of the whistling key finder, light-up shower mirror, cupcake-scented bath gels and the leopard-print long johns. Any takers?

~Erica McGee

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