Published December 14, 2012
(In response to last week’s column)
When making out your Christmas card list, think of this only: Would you like to receive a card from them? If the answer is yes, then send them a card full of holiday cheer regardless of whether or not they sent you one. It’s about spreading joy, not keeping score.
One Christmas season, I was a little behind on my family gift exchange shopping — OK I forgot! So I looked around the house to see what my sister and brother-in-law would want. I had an alarm clock radio that was brand new (OK, slightly used) that I knew he would like.
I also wrapped up a once-used, wrought iron, Santa plate holder from Longaberger. Each item was worth about $80. Normally, we only spend $30 on each other. Personally, I thought they were making out like bandits. They were in their original boxes and everything. Granted, I had to put them back in them, but they looked new.
The only problem was that my sister had seen them both displayed in my house before. She opened her $80 Longaberger Santa and was genuinely happy until she recognized it from my kitchen. You could follow her thought process through the expressions on her face.
“Wait a minute,” she said, “This is from your kitchen!”
Although we all broke out in laughter, I never felt quite right about it. Even if she wouldn’t have known it was previously mine, I would know. I have to say that re-gifting seems like a great idea, but is the re-gift giving guilt worth it?