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Re-Gifting Failures: Holiday Edition

Legendary re-gifting failures


Some re-gifts go undetected: the recipient assumes the gift was actually bought for them. They go home happy.

But every once in a while, the re-gifting act is so obvious, so blatant, so utterly shameless, that it becomes the stuff of office or family legends. MainStreet asked the public for tales of re-gifting gone awry. These re-gifters will go down in holiday season infamy.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Crystal “healing tree”


Margo wrote to us about a crystal “healing tree”—sounds like bogus, New Age tripe to us, but at least Margo had the good sense to destroy it quickly.

“A crystal ‘healing tree’ which was supposed to have healing powers for the user  (does that make it moot for the person it is regifted to?).  I received it from a coworker who re-gifted it to me.  We had a company bowling party and I lost.  Thus, the healing karma did not seem to work very well. After the mandatory company bowling I ran over the healing tree with my car. (oops...)”

Respect. Violence even Deepak Chopra would approve of.

Photo Credit: cobalt123

The cheap boss


This source requested anonymity so he could keep his job. Here’s the story:

“My boss's boss, a VP who probably makes $200K+ in salary, wished me Happy Holidays by handing me a bottle of white wine covered with a white pirate-esque bandana and some bubble wrap. This VP admitted that he was re-gifting the wine from a vendor. When I handed out home-made holiday cookies a few days later, he did NOT get any.”

You showed him. That VP has lost all of his cookie privileges.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Disgusting ancient fruitcake


Doug admits his re-gifting ways:

“I once received a fruitcake from a funeral home as a gift. I re-gifted it to my sister and we re-gifted back & forth the SAME fruitcake for 11 years. We would hide it in each others’ houses during the holidays. Finally my sister gave up & threw it away.”

Charming. By the way, why was a funeral home giving away fruitcake in the first place? I’m confused.

Photo Credit: ringo_ichigo

Rotting cheese and sausage delight


Pam confesses this one:

“A few years ago I re-gifted my sister a wine cooler for Christmas that I had originally received as a wedding gift.  I had received three of them so I had too many.  I put the duplicates in my attic – here in Texas – and 2 years later sent one of them on to my sister.  When she opened it she found very old, smelly, yucky stuff that had been cheese and sausage when it was originally given to me.  Needless to say we have had a few laughs over the years regarding re-gifting! There was no hiding the fact that it was re-gifted.”

I hope Pam’s sister did not let perfectly good food go to waste.

Photo Credit: erix

Old sunglasses


Jarrod was a victim of re-gifting:

“Remember Blublocker Sunglasses from the late '80s/early '90s (they're still around actually)? When I was 15 (20 years ago), the people I babysat for gave me a pair of Blublockers for Christmas.  I thought it was an odd gift since the sunglasses were way too big for my face and only old people wore them. Well, I took the wrapped gift home... and I inspected the wrapping paper before opening it.  They had actually crossed off someone else's name and wrote my name right next to it on the wrapping paper.  I then opened my gift and was the proud 15-year-old owner of Blublocker Sunglasses. I think I re-gifted them again and gave them to my grandfather.”

The multi-generational, double re-gift. Nicely done.

Photo Credit: davewasson

Unwanted wok


Joni’s relationship with her brother will never be the same:

“I received a Wok from my brother – with the original card from his wedding guest in it.”

Photo Credit: avlxyz

“Cheap and creepy!”


A tipster veiled by Internet anonymity tells us:

“How about a sister-in-law that re-gifted presents to us that she had previously given her father, who died that year. She found the items while helping her mother go through his things, wrapped them up and gave them to us the following Christmas. Cheap and creepy!”

Very creepy. Very cheap.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Divorce bowl


This tip from Amy, speaks for itself:

“At our wedding we received a bowl from a friend that was recently married AND about to get divorced. His girlfriend had gotten pregnant, they had a hasty wedding. When the baby was born it wasn't his since he was caucasian and the baby was half African American. So the divorce was already in the works at the time of our wedding. The bowl that was regifted still had the original packaging AND the card from the person that had given it to them at their wedding. OOPS.”

Photo Credit: calliope

Re-gifted… from the library


Dan, from Melbourne, Australia, shares this one:

“For my 16th birthday, my friend gave me a copy of Being and Nothingness by Jean-Paul Sartre. He knew I loved philosophy, and had looked up 'famous philosophy books' online. I was overjoyed until he told me that I needed to read it in the next four weeks, because he had borrowed it from his local library, and if I wouldn't mind giving it back to them by the 7th of the following month, that would be much appreciated.  While I was shocked, none of us could stop laughing that he had given this as a serious present and didn't realise how ridiculous it was. Needless to say that this was the most memorable present I got that year.”

If it’s the thought that counts, why didn’t this kid just give Dan nothing?

Photo Credit: jhoweaa

Celebrity re-gifting


As reported by PopCrunch, "Casey Johnson has some explaining to do: The heiress to the Johnson & Johnson Band-Aid fortune is accused of using a faux diamond she once presented to an ex-girlfriend to propose to the troubled reality TV star Tila Tequila."

The rich and famous re-gift, too.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

"Beard" trimmer


From Amanda:

"I once regifted a beard trimmer that was a gag gift given to me by my ex-boyfriend. I gave the trimmer to my new boyfriend who had facial hair. As far as I knew, the trimmer hadn't been used (the ex-boyfriend didn't have facial hair), but when my new boyfriend was checking it out after I gave it to him, he opened the hair trap. All this coarse, short hair fell out. My ex-boyfriend must have used the trimmer at some point to manscape his nether regions and had never cleaned the hair trap! I was mortified."

I'm sure your new boyfriend was also mortified.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Savvy advertising


Patrón tequila is taking advantage of re-gifting concerns with its new nationwide campaign designed to “eliminate” re-gifting altogether. The tongue-in-cheek implication is that Patrón is such good tequila no one would ever want to re-gift the stuff.

A brand rep for the company tells us they currently have a “giant outdoor board in NYC (8th Ave and 34th St.) with the ‘Eliminate Regifting’ message. We have similar billboards up across the country.” (Pictured at left.)

Check out our story on the worst Secret Santa gifts of all time.

Photo Credit: Patrón

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