To Re-Gift or Not to Re-Gift

I hate the title of my post.  I think we’ve outworn all references to Hamlet’s speech.  But I couldn’t come up with any better.

We sometimes run into what seems like a hard decision: I have a gift someone gave me.  Should I re-gift it?  Or is that tacky?  Lazy?  Untactful?  Unappreciative?  Selfish?  Stingy?  Inconsiderate?

Yes, there are times when it is one of these.  I get a shirt I don’t like so I rewrap it and give it to my dorky cousin who doesn’t know style.  I get a kitchen utensil, use it a few times, then put it back in the box and give it to those newlyweds.  I get a JCPenny gift card and just give it to my mom.

Yes, sometimes re-gifting is just bad form, especially if it’s just a matter of convenient “tossing aside” to someone else without thought.

Yet when I look at my life as a Christian, I am reminded that every good thing I have is a gift.  My life is a gift.  My salvation is a gift.  My blessings are a gift.  The Gospel is a gift.  And so I want to share these gifts with others.  This is reflection of the great gift.

When we share any good and appropriate gift, we are “re-gifting”, not in a careless way, but in a compassionate way.  We share the Truth, we share our goods and money, we share our home.

And sometimes this can apply to Christmas gifts, birthday gifts, wedding gifts, and the like.  It can be a sign that we are appreciative, but want to pass a gift along to someone who will appreciate it even more, maybe because they are less fortunate, and need that gift more.  It can be a sign that we are not attached to this world, that even wrapped gifts given on special occasions can be let go if they can find an even better home in someone else’s arms.  It can be a sign that God’s blessings transcend our plans, and that we are okay with them not being eternally ours.

If you’re like me, you may likely get some things you don’t need for Christmas, even things that you really like, but don’t need.  Do not feel guilty if you see an opportunity give that gift instead to someone who may need it more.  Sometimes these are the opportunities the Lord affords us, when he knows how much we need and don’t need, and how we can turn our blessings into the blessings of others.

It’s like White Elephant.  But even better.

[Note: This post was considered before I received any Christmas presents.  Please do not think I gave away a present you gave me.  But if I did, I promise I did it for someone who needed it more than me.]

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