Michael belongs to an organization that is holding a holiday gift exchange tomorrow evening. The only rule is the gift must be a re-gift. You are familiar with the idea of re-gifting. You receive something as a gift, are not thrilled with it, cannot or do not want to return it, so it goes into a closet waiting for the day when it will be … what? Suddenly wanted by you? Not likely. Turned itself into something you do want? Even less likely. Be reimagined or altered into something you will use? Possibly likely if you are a crafter with an imagination and time to spare. Or most likely, just left to sit in a closet until someday you need something to fill a gift bag at the last minute and you remember the orphaned present sitting in the dark on the top shelf behind the closet door.
We admit, we are not big gifters so the idea of re-gifting does not often present itself. We cherish our gifts because someone thought of us, and while thinking, thinks we are special. The gift is wrapped in what we mean to each other. That doesn’t mean that every gift is a perfect gift. Gifts are like days. In fact, we have written in these posts how each day in itself is a gift. But every day is not perfect. Special though they may be, there are some days we would prefer not to re-live, but we can’t give them back, wouldn’t even think of giving them back. We certainly can’t re-gift them, passing them along to someone else to endure. We accept those days, we adapt to them, and do the best we can to make it through while hoping the next day will be better for us. We don’t pause living because we aren’t happy with how the day is turning out.
Some days though, some days are so spectacular you wish you could share them, or better, pass them along to someone more in need than you of being uplifted. You can you know. Fred Rogers tells us, “The greatest gift we can give to anybody is the gift of our honest self.” But then he adds to that, saying, “to gracefully receive whatever it is that they want to give us” is also a great gift, perhaps you can say it is the bow on our present. Not only to give of ourselves, but to accept what is offered. You might interpret that to say Mr. Rogers doesn’t believe in re-gifting, or you might say those are gifts that are begging to be passed along from person to person to person.
A recent article in the New York Post reported on a poll of 2000 people that determined 75% of people receive up to 7 gifts a year they will never use, destined for the gift closet and a chance to be passed along. We can suggest seven gifts that 100% of the people would be happy to get and still will pass them along.
Love above everything else
Respect for the person
Compassion without qualification
Kindness, kindness, and more kindness
Our sincere help
Our honest selves
To gracefully accept what others offer
If we could only get in the habit of giving gifts like these, re-gifts may be the best gifts we could ever get.