My Daughter Received Five Re-Gifted Rainbow Looms For Her Birthday

81773891I 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!

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You can reach this post's author, Rebecca Eckler, on twitter.
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  • Dana Colburn-Gallo

    I don’t think I’ve ever given a gift receipt with anything that wasn’t a clothing item that I worried might not fit. And when I was a kid if I got two of something, I got two of something, tough luck lol. I was also more inclined to be happy that there were actually kids at my party and with the party itself than the presents. It may also be that I was never all that fond of barbie dolls but usually ended up rolling in them at my kiddie birthday parties. I graciously learned to roll with it, if I got something awesome great and if I didn’t I still was appreciative

    • RCIAG

      Same here. Half the time I forget with clothes too. Sometimes the cashier will ask & then I’ll get one but if they don’t ask I don’t always remember.

  • Amy Hernandez

    I understand your feeling about regifting, but I have to say, except in specific circumstances, I do NOT give gift receipts. The whole concept kind of pisses me off. I consider gifts, just that, GIFTS. Someone thought about you and cared enough to go out and get you something they thought you would enjoy, and all you are concerned about is making it easy to TAKE IT BACK. It turns appreciating the thought into “you may as well just give me cash, ’cause your gifts SUCK.”
    I realize that it is annoying that your daughter received so many of the same gift, but the very fact that she got TWENTY gifts in the first place should be a source of gratitude that twenty kids wanted to celebrate her birthday with her. Instead it just comes off as greedy and ungrateful that a quarter of those twenty were the same gift. Teach her to be thankful for the gifts she did receive, and excited at the chance to share her bounty with some kids who will be over the moon to receive that “regifted” loom.

    • SarahJesness

      When I was a kid, we never included receipts or price tags cause my parents said it was rude to tell the receiver how much you spent on the gift. So it’s really weird that she’s making a big deal about it. Maybe it’s a regional thing?

    • KatDuck

      In the slightest of slight defenses, a gift receipt has the item but not the price on it – you have to specifically request one in most places and can specify which items from your purchase you wish included. That way, the person doesn’t know how much you spent unless they go in to exchange it. Not perfect, but means you can give a gift with the prices torn off (most tags let you tear off just the price) and still let them exchange it.

      With that … I suck at giving gift receipts. Unfortunately it’s just one more thing for me to lose and I usually do. And, judging by how many gifts I ring up (I work at a toy store) and how few gift receipts I print… we’re not alone in our receiptless giving.

    • brebay

      Yeah, I think a gift receipt is tacky. Most stores will give store credit without, or you can always re-gift!

  • SarahJesness

    She thought 15 new gifts was an underwhelming haul? I grew up middle class and that still would’ve been a crazy awesome birthday for kid-me!

  • VA Teacher

    Beyond all of the content issues addressed below, this really isn’t a very well-written article. It’s very formulaic. Essays don’t have to be so “introduction, body paragraphs, conclusion that restates the thesis” all of the time.

    And yes, it’s lame to expect gift receipts and to whine about people doing exactly what you did. Don’t you think they knew your gift was a regift? Or is their “six sense” (sic) not as fully developed as yours?

  • Badger

    Is your daughter’s name Veruca, by any chance? Seriously, she “only” got 15 ~original~ birthday presents from the kids at her party (how many did she get from you?), and this is something to complain about?

    I remember years when I was lucky to get five presents total, because my parents were poor, and my brother and I have birthdays within two days of each other. Our birthday parties were small, always the same day, and in the same place, to cut down on cost. We shared one cake. Maybe, instead of whinging online about the horrors of regifting popular, in-demand items, you should have taken this opportunity to explain to your child the concept of gratitude.

    • angus young

      Haha. And remember the oompah loompa song about her?
      Who do you do blame if your kid is a brat
      Pampered and spoiled like a siamese cat
      Blaming the kids is a lion of shame
      You know exactly whose to blame
      The mother and the father
      I sing this somg to my husband when our kids are giving us the business.

  • sorry for cheapsters

    A lot of hate towards the author here. I don’t know this author by name nor any of the others on this blog, like many of these haters seem to, but Jeez. It looks to me that a lot of cheapa$$ people just got caught red handed re-gifting, they KNOW It’s wrong and then attacked the messenger. Busted.

    I detest re-gifting. My mother never kept a gift in her life, she’d open presents and as soon as she could get away, she’d put it in the closet to re-gift for someone else. She wasn’t poor, not even close, she was just cheap and didn’t want to bother spending “her” money on other people, and really didn’t care about the people she gave gifts to. She also kept a running total of the approximate “value” of gifts she was given, and would match the price (or at least not go over) for that person’s next gift. Disgusting behavior. She’s also the first person to start complaining a week after an event if she hasn’t received a gushing thank you LETTER (not note, letter) about how the re-gifted crap she gives people were “just what I wanted.”

    I think that if most of us have time to be lolling around posting on internet boards, we aren’t dying of poverty, (myself included) so I don’t buy the whole “well. maybe they couldn’t afford a new gift” excuse. Give me a break.

    Re-gifting sucks. DON’T do it. People can always tell and it’s dishonest and sucky.

    • VA Teacher

      I don’t think you actually read the entire article. A lot of the criticism is coming from the fact that the “author” was the first to re-gift a Rainbow Loom and then got all high-and-mighty about others who did the exact same thing.

    • drinkpepsi

      We can tell by your extravagant use of CAPS that YOU are the AUTHOR.

      There’s a lot of hate towards you because you admit to regifting, then you
      bash the moms for (possibly) regifting too.

      Even if they did regift, they were nice enough to get your daughter the hottest, most in demand gift at the moment. Not some crappy toy that peaked ten years ago.

      They were thoughtful. You are the one who sucks as a parent because you not only fail to teach your kid some grace and selflessness, you actually encourage your little snowflake to be a selfish snob.

    • brebay

      Starvation sucks. Genocide sucks. Child labor sucks. Child sex-trafficking sucks. In the scheme of the part of the world that doesn’t revolve around your self-centered brat, receiving an unopened gift that may or may not have been an extra given to someone else does not suck. Not teaching your child to be a gracious hostess, and that the important part of a celebration is spending time with your friends , also sucks.

  • linray

    So let me get this straight – your kid got FIFTEEN birthday presents PLUS another five of the same present, and she still complained that she didn’t get enough birthday presents. And then you indulged that complaint by saying that was because a quarter of her gifts were the same thing. So even if we exclude the four redundant ones, again, she still has sixteen gifts. Rather than worrying about regifting, I would be worrying about my parenting raising an entitled brat who complains about 16 presents being insufficient.

  • brebay

    I have never re-gifted, and I also have NEVER included a gift receipt. I think it’s tacky, plus, most places with exchange things without a receipt. The fact that they didn’t give you a receipt does NOT mean it’s re-gifted. Also, if my kid griped about the number/type of PRESENTS they received, it would be a cold day in hell before they got another party.

  • brebay

    Any 70s babies out there remember the “Fashion Plates” toy? Anyway, on my 8th birthday, a friend came to my party, and told my mom that she the gift she brought for me was Fashion Plates, which I already had. My mom took me aside and said “Laurie got you Fashion Plates, so when you open, it, DO NOT tell her you already have one, just thank her and tell her you like it, and tomorrow, we’ll go exchange it at Target.” Well, when I opened it, I said “Oh, Fashion Plates! I already have this!” My mom was so pissed. After the party, she did indeed take me to Target and return it, but she did NOT let me get another present with the money, because I had been rude and ungrateful and hurt my guest’s feelings. That’s called parenting, Rebecca. Try it sometime, and your daughter might actually grow up with some values, despite all your chronicled efforts to the contrary.

  • twidget

    I really don’t understand how you can actually call yourself a writer. Not only is this article idiotic but it rambles on and on making the same points multiple times. You sound selfish and you are raising your daughter to be selfish. I honestly couldn’t tell you how many gifts either of my kids received at their last birthday parties because I never thought to count them. I think you wrote this so you could complain and then play the martyr by “generously” giving these re-gifts to charity. Also, adding “just saying” at the end of an article makes you sound like a 12 year old girl trying to act cool in front of her friends.

  • Ashley G.

    WOW. This is so poorly written, and sounds like it was penned by a spoiled teenager. You can “totally” tell when something is regifted? You have a “six sense”? Journalism at its finest. I don’t remember getting a single gift receipt with a present when I was a child. If you had a party and were lucky enough to receive presents, you were grateful – something this child will never be, thanks to poor parenting. “Just sayin’!”

  • broobs

    Whats a rainbow loom…

  • Laura

    Ok, I won’t even get into how poorly written this article is; being a shitty writer is the least of this woman’s problems. The main problem here is that this article centers around an embarrassingly huge FIRST WORLD PROBLEM. Whoever suggested submitting this to White Whine is spot on. Chicky needs to be told where to shove all those rainbow looms…

  • anonymousteacher

    How is she still writing for Mommyish? Most of the other articles I read on this website are funny, thought-provoking, and well-written. I read them and usually never question why they were published. I seriously have no idea why this was published…it’s just dumb. I also feel like she has the best job in the world: she can just write whatever comes to mind and get paid for it.

  • Mikster

    Re-gifting has to be the tackiest practice EVER. Don’t like a gift? Then donate it. Cheapa$$ people.

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  • NatStr

    Take them to the closest Children’s Hospital or the like. They’ll appreciate them there

  • Amanda Crowell Walker

    Waaaaaah! waaaaaaaaaaaa! boo freaking hoo
    When your daughter is whining about the gifts you give her, in a few years, remember that you raised her.

  • Sarah Izzett Sikora

    I have never given a gift receipt for a birthday gift. oops. But depending on your daughters age, maybe she told all of her friends that she loves the rainbow loom and that is what she wanted. I have never re-gifted before, but if my daughter had more than one rainbow loom at home unopened and sitting around collecting dust and she told me that was what her friend wanted, then her friend would most certainly get the one sitting there. I paid money for it and I would not want to go buy the same gift for someone else when there is one sitting there begging to go to a new home.

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  • Tati

    Wow, how many (not)different ways can she say the same thing? Redundant, much? Not even touching the ungratefulness, or lack of personal reflection (e.g. “…one can assume that the birthday girl already owns one…” but hers, somehow, is a-ok.)

  • Bridgette Gubernatis

    The fact that she wants to “regift” the unwanted gift to a Toys for Tots drive just shows how horribly entitled and lacking in compassion she really is at heart. So it’s not a gift you want, you think that most people are sending these unwanted rainbow looms around the Birthday Party circuit and so the solution is dump them all on the homeless kids who have nothing. Klassy.