I have a six sense for two things: Where the nearest McDonald’s is, which isn’t that hard because they are everywhere. I also have a sixth sense for sloppy second birthday presents, or what we in motherland when it comes to birthday parties, call re-gifters! Listen, I know, we’ve all been there. On occasion, when I totally forget my daughter has a birthday party in…AN HOUR…I will make her go through her toy closet and find a gift she hasn’t opened (most likely from her last birthday party) and will re-gift it. I pray to god each time, “Dear God, please don’t let this gift be from the actual person who gave it to us!” At least I TRY to make it look like it’s NOT a re-gift. I will put it in a nice bag, make sure the gift is still perfectly in tact, including the box, and add some tissue paper.
Last week, we celebrated my daughter’s birthday party at my house (Never again…that’s another story!) Out of twenty gifts, she received FIVE Rainbow Looms. I could tell that NONE of them were new, or bought from a store just for my daughter’s birthday party, because usually gifts like that DO come with a gift receipt…unless, of course, you are re-gifting. My daughter has had a Rainbow Loom already for months. Same with almost all the girls her age. In fact, I wrote a story for Canada’s National Newsmagazine, Maclean’s, more than a month ago, about the huge trend in Rainbow Looms and how addictive they are (Also called ‘the best babysitter in the world!’) Apparently, none of the parents in my kids class had read the story, because OF COURSE I wrote about it, after seeing how much my daughter loved this artsy-toy.
I felt awful when my daughter was invited to a birthday party about a month ago. It was a sleepover party. Only five girls were invited. Four out of the five gifts were Rainbow Looms (One from yours truly. It was BRAND NEW!) When a craft set takes off so quickly, I think, one can assume that the birthday girl already owns one. As for my sixth sense, I can totally tell if a gift has been re-gifted. I’m sure many mothers can too. There’s just something about the box that is a little too banged up to be a brand NEW gift, and sometimes you can tell that the gift has even been open and then put back into the box. “I don’t feel like I got that many birthday presents this year,” my daughter said. “That’s because 1/4th of your gifts were THE SAME GIFT!” I told my daughter. I can also tell when a gift is a re-gift because it doesn’t come with a gift receipt, the most basic thing that SHOWS, or PROVES, that the gift has just been bought within the last week, or last couple hours. None of the Rainbow Loom sets came with gift receipts!
Yeah, yeah, I’m ONTO you re-gifters. It’s not that I really care so much. The point is, some of us, or most of us, can TELL if it is a re-gift. If you can live with that, so be it. A few parents, before the birthday party, asked me what my daughter would like. “Not Rainbow Loom!” was my response. When I told my friend, after the birthday party, that my daughter received FIVE Rainbow Loom sets, she laughed and said, “Well, you could re-gift them.” The problem is, I really, really can’t. I already KNEW they were re-gifts, and if I re-gift the re-gift, then these Rainbow Loom sets are just going from birthday party to birthday party all year long, because as I’ve said, almost every girl in my daughter’s class ALREADY owns one. Plus, it’s kind of like cheating, this re-gifting. You just feel morally WRONG, or at least I do, re-gifting, no matter the circumstances. This is true for pretty much any gift-giving holiday, like Christmas. You can tell if a present is brand, spanking new, or if it’s a re-gift, just based on gut instinct, no gift receipt, and the gift that looks a little too banged up to be brand, spanking new. Since I didn’t get any gift receipts (Smells like a re-gift!) I plan to take all the Rainbow Loom sets to my daughter’s school at Christmas time, when they collect toys for the less fortunate. I’m not running around, that’s for sure, trying to convince stores that my daughter’s FIVE Rainbow Looms for her birthday party gifts, may or may not have come from their store. So, the Rainbow Looms will go to charity, a good thing.
I know, at some point, all of us have had to resort to re-gifting. While kids may not be that smart, let’s just say, I have the sixth sense for sloppy second gifts. And I’m sure other mothers do to. Yes, sometimes we do need to re-gift, but the least we can do is TRY to make it look like a brand new gift. If it doesn’t, you should probably just keep it for yourself, or give it to charity, because I, and other mothers, CAN tell, if it’s a re-gift. Just sayin’!
(Image: getty images)