Regifting the True Spirit of Christmas
Regifting. Right? Wrong? Always? Maybe? Sometimes? Never? No matter what you think, we have all heard stories of re-gifting gone terribly wrong. The worst stories, of course, usually involve giving a gift back to the person who gave it the first go-round!
The tales of regifting are legendary. Dried out fruitcakes passed back and forth for generations. Gifts given that had been used for a year or so and then passed along (with love). Partially-used gift cards. English Leather or Brut cologne, passed from father to son to grandson, minus a few sniffs over the years. One of our favorite stories is of a woman trying to exchange a casserole dish she’d just been given, only to find out that the pattern on the dish hadn’t been sold in 20 years!
Some items get regifted so often that they ought to be tagged and have their travels tracked and researched…like the leg bands placed on migratory birds and the ear tags placed on marauding mountain lions.
In our age of recycling and caring for the environment, regifting has become so popular that The New York Times has a few instructions on doing it responsibly: “Do not regift items that have been opened or used (a family heirloom, presented as such, is the exception); do not regift one-of-a-kind items, which will nail you, if the item is spotted, as certainly as a DNA sample; examine any gift carefully for old cards (one may have been tucked into the box); do not regift to someone in the same social group in which you received the gift.”
No matter the stories we hear, we think that regifting is a great thing to do at Christmas! And, while we’re not necessarily talking about regifting that fancy jar candle that has lost its pine scent or that cute little handcrafted basket with the liner that no longer matches your kitchen, we are talking about regifting the love, spirit, generosity, and meaning of Christmas.
Fact is, the holidays and year-end are an incredibly stressful time for all of us. Places to go. Parties to attend. Cards to be signed and mailed. Gifts to be purchased and wrapped. Plans to be made for the upcoming year. There is a lot going on and the extra stress can cause us all to be, well…a little grumpy at times. Fortunately, love is usually the answer to even the worst case of grumpies.
To help us set our minds toward thoughts more compassionate and caring than grumpy, our company recently volunteered to ring the bells at all of the red Salvation Army kettles in a nearby city for the entire day. It was a huge undertaking for us but some of the best stories that came out of it revolved around seeing hurried and grumpy people entering or leaving the stores, and then having their demeanors completely reversed when we would call out a simple “Merry Christmas” or “Have a great afternoon!” to them. During times of stress, the simplest thing can call even the least cheerful amongst us back to reality!
For us at Classic Metal Roofing Systems and Isaiah Industries, the true meaning of Christmas comes from the baby in the manger, sent from heaven above to be our guide, our teacher, and our Savior. That gift of God’s son, so lavishly given to us, reminds us of our calling to comfort the sad and oppressed, to feed the hungry and thirsty, to love our neighbors and even our “enemies” as ourselves, and to be merciful, gentle, and caring … even in the midst of stress!
Wherever you find your spirit of love and kindness this holiday season, please don’t hesitate to regift it to all whom you encounter. Fact is, we never know what those around us are going through … and we never know what impact a simple kind gesture can have on them, for today, tomorrow, and perhaps eternity.
We wish you and yours a most blessed Christmas, holiday season, and New Year. Perhaps it is time to toss that old fruitcake in the trash this year rather than give it back to Cousin Stewart, but don’t hesitate to regift something else … the true spirit, love, generosity, mercy, and hope of Christmas. May those things carry you with great joy through this season.