True Mom Confession: I Regift My Son’s Gifts
Dealing with those white elephants in your closet and regifting with grace
Most moms, whether we want to admit it or not, have a shameful secret stash hidden somewhere in the house that we don’t want anyone to know about.
And when I say “stash,” I’m not talking about cigarettes or chocolate chip cookies (this time anyway). It’s that ever-so-convenient pile of unwanted gifts that many of us save for a rainy day – or, more accurately, a last-minute birthday party or holiday gathering, when we’re either too tired or too busy to go out and buy something new for our child’s friend or relative.
Yes, it’s shameful, and it’s cheap, but in these recessionary times, it’s hard not to cave to the temptation of “the regift.” It’s the white elephant in the room no one wants to talk about, or worse – get caught doing.
And some moms have! “I actually did get caught one time! But the parents joked about it and wished they had thought of the same thing! It ended up being the ‘best present’ the birthday child got at that party,” confesses Michelle Robichaud, a mom in New Brunswick, Canada.
We all know the drill. You tiptoe down the stairs, look around to make sure your kids aren’t looking, then you tiptoe to your “secret stash” hidden in some dark corner of the house. You look around for telltale gift receipts that might give you away, then wrap the offending gift in a lovely gift bag that was recycled from your child’s last birthday party.
Many moms admit they regift, either because the gift was a duplicate, or because it was age inappropriate. In other cases it’s because the gift is downright bizarre.
Some of the weirder items my son has received that have “regift” written all over them include: a “paint in the tub” game, an arctic toy set with rubber sea animals, a dog sled and Eskimo men, a CD with cartoon characters I’ve never seen before, and a kid’s baking set.
That last gift would have been great if my son Alex were a 5-year-old girl instead of a 3-year-old boy. Sounds sexist, but I guarantee you if I ever gave him that baking set to play with, he’d bang the rolling pin on the floor and then fling it at the cat – before going back to playing with his cars.
The noblest option, of course, is go out to the store and spend actual money on a present. But if time is short and the secret stash is the only option, there are ways to regift with grace: