My Mom organizes a great re-gifting every Christmas at the school she teaches at. All the kids bring in stuff from home (with the permission of their parents) that they don’t use any more. It can be anything from toys to jewelery to kitchenware as long as it’s in new or “gently used” condition. They collect thousands of items.
Then they have a Christmas sale in the gym. Each child brings a list of 4 people they are allowed to shop for, and everything is on sale for less than $4. They get to pick out special surprise gifts for their siblings or parents and practice their money management skills at the same time.
My mom comes home with wonderful stories. The child who scored a new George Foreman Grill for $4 for their Grandpa. An unlikely circle of grade 5 boys, ooh-ing and ah-ing, crowded around a boy proudly holding a pair of huge, sparkly earrings he had found for his mother. A kid lovingly picking out a pair of women’s sunglasses for his Dad (yes, they told him, and no, he didn’t want to change his mind). A parent, genuinely thankful that she wouldn’t have to lug her child around the mall trying to find something for him to give his little brother.
Nobody cares that some of the items have been previously loved. What matters is that they were personally chosen.
The grade 7’s help the little kids wrap the gifts at school, so they can keep them a surprise. And, at the end of the day, the parent volunteers take all the leftovers to the local charity shop.
Sometimes I wonder why re-gifting is so frowned upon in our society. I might re-gift something new, but never used. I would be afraid of coming off cheap or appearing that I didn’t take the loving time required to go shopping, choosing instead just to dive into the depths of my hall closet.
I guess my question is that if it’s an appropriate gift, why does it matter if it’s new?
Maybe we could all learn a thing of two about re-gifting from those kids.