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Seasons of Regifting

In the fall, I received a beautiful teal floral silk scarf for my birthday from a dear aunt who lived on the east coast. Even though the scarf was lovely, it really wasn’t me – I couldn’t coordinate it with anything in my clothes closet. However, a tinge of guilt rushed through me when I considered donating the scarf to a charitable organization. Then several ideas came to mind. Surely, someone else might enjoy the scarf, and since I lived in the west, who would be the wiser? Immediately, I set-up up a “regift drawer” in my bedroom dresser and tucked the scarf away for safekeeping.

In the spring, I wrapped the scarf elegantly and gave it to my boss at a birthday luncheon. I watched her open the gold brocade gift box slowly, fold back the matching tissue and carefully lift the scarf to admire it. She smiled, raised the scarf to her chin, and brushed her cheek with the silk fabric, “It is so soft, I adore the lovely blue and green hues. It accentuates the navy suit I’m wearing. Thank you so much.” she said and draped the scarf around her neck.

“I’m glad you like it,” I replied, beaming, feeling smug and secretly priding myself in mastering the art of regifting.

In the summer, as I was on the way to meet my husband for lunch, he called to say his meeting was running late and to wait for him in the office lobby. As I stood at the receptionist’s desk, a deliveryman handed her a birthday bouquet.

“Oh thanks!” she squealed. “They are so nice to me here. I also received a box of candy and a gorgeous silk scarf.”

Suddenly, she pulled the scarf from a gold brocade box buried beneath other gift boxes stacked on the desk and tossed the delicate floral blue and green silk fabric over her shoulder. I managed to utter a feeble birthday greeting, but I was stunned – it looked like the same gift box, tissue paper, and scarf – could it be? Of course not, I thought, it was only a coincidence.

In the winter, I took inventory of my regift drawer. I was amazed at the nice things I’d accumulated. There were two bottles of Chanel fragrances that were all the rage, an assortment of trendy gold and silver chunky bracelets, and two simulated pearl necklaces with matching pearl drop earrings. I wrapped and adorned each regift with ribbons and bows and was able to cross six people off my Christmas list.

Then on Christmas Eve, the unthinkable happened. The postman delivered a small package addressed to me from a business associate. Quickly, I opened the brown box and dug through the foam packing material. I was dumbstruck…there was the gold brocade gift box tied with a gold sequined ribbon. For a moment, I was engulfed with a glimmer of hope. Surely, it was only a coincidence, but there was no mistaking the blue and green floral silk scarf tucked inside. I fought back the tears as I looped the exquisite scarf around my neck, feeling ashamed for so many regift blunders. Suddenly, I was consumed by tears and laughter as I wondered if anyone else had failed so miserably at regifting. I vowed there’d be no more regifting for me.

To begin the New Year, I made a resolution to never regift again. Not ever. And I’ve kept that promise I made to myself over twenty years ago. It is the only resolution I’ve ever kept.


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