The gift that keeps on giving

rapisardaThe holidays are supposed to be a time of love and celebration, but let’s be honest – they are super duper stressful and expensive too. My HILARIOUS friend, Jessica Rapisarda of Welcome To The Bundle fame has got the best solution. If you like cheeky posts that will leave you with a tickled funny bone then you are in for a treat today! If you like what you read then be sure to check out her social media links in the bio below!

If you are just tuning in, the House Guest series introduces emerging and established voices in the mom blogger world to the Housewife Plus audience. The writers featured here share their stories about parenting, marriage, and life in general. They are sometimes serious, other times funny, but always real.

THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING
By Jessica Rapisarda

It’s happening: the holidays.

The decorative autumn gourds haven’t attracted fruit flies yet. The turkey leftovers don’t even smell questionable (says my husband). But we’re already staring down the barrel of the most wonderful time of the year with nothing but our credit cards and a sweaty wad of coupons to save us.

We’re cleaning out our attics. We’re renting storage units. We’re building additions onto our homes. Otherwise, they’ll be no room at the inn for the miracle of the Transformers Stomp and Chomp Grimlock and Doc McStuffins’ Get Better Talking Mobile.

But there is another way. A way free of cost and clutter. True, it’s also a way that’s mostly free of dignity and class. But, free is free, people. And regifting, – yes, regifting – is free!

There are times when money is tight, when our schedules, like our closets, are packed. We live in a nation filled to its rafters with things. Why go out and buy one more thing to add to the ever-growing pile of things, especially when there’s a perfectly good, unused thing back at home?

Regifting, however, is a subtle art. Here are my tips on mastering that art through trickery and a lax attitude toward acceptable social customs.

  • Gift cards: Nothing says “I shopped at CVS” like a gift card. They’re basically cold, hard cash with very specific instructions, like, “Enjoy a Bloomin’ Onion and one serving of Shrimp on the Barbie!” Gift cards are the beige paint of the gift-giving world; they’re kind of sad but they go with everything. Just remember to scratch your name off of the back before you stick the card in an envelope and smugly hand it over to someone else who probably hates Outback Steakhouse.
  • Booze: Everyone loves booze! Except for babies and people who don’t. Booze is a great gift for almost any occasion: birthdays, holidays, barbecues, morning. Just make sure that any wine or beer that you’re passing on isn’t skunked. Hard liquor, however, never goes bad. (Don’t worry. I looked that up on Yahoo.) I’m pretty sure they found a bottle of Jägermeister in the tomb of an ancient Egyptian pharaoh, and it tasted exactly as horrible as modern Jägermeister. Put a bow on that bottle and give the gift that keeps on giving: a hangover.
  • Toys: Why buy a new toy when you already have a new, functioning, and abandoned toy sitting forlornly in some corner of your home? Slap some fresh wrapping paper on that reject and brighten an unsuspecting child’s life. But take note: If your kid receives an extra Dr. Blinkerton McScreamy’s Song Repeater 5000, don’t even consider regifting it to my kid. If that or any other hell-spawn electronic toy crosses the threshold of my home, I will give your child pink eye. I. Will. Give. Your. Child. Pink. Eye.
  • Handmade items: Don’t be silly. You should never regift a lovingly crafted handmade item; you give that stuff to Goodwill, where your MeeMaw’s knitted toilet paper cozy will make some hipster’s big, dumb, ironic day.
  • Food: Regifting food is kinda shady, in my opinion. What are the chances that you got that tin of weird Scandinavian butter cookies a few days before you opted to regift them? Slim. What are the chances that you had to wipe dust off of the tin. High. Look, nothing takes the wind out of a girl’s sails like ripping open a box of chocolates only to find that the truffles have gone a bit grey. When you regift food, what you’re really giving is the gift diarrhea.
  • Books: Come on already. Books? No one likes to read. Ugh.

And there you have it – the Tao of Regifting. For the record, though, if you show up at my house with anything on this list, I’ll know what you’ve done, ya cheapskate.

jessicaBIO: Jessica Rapisarda earned her MFA in poetry, but since becoming a mom, most of her rhymes are of the nursery variety. She lives in the DC metro area, where she writes about parenting, guilt, and other redundancies on her blog, Welcome to the Bundle, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

Sarah Cottrell

About Sarah Cottrell

Maine-based writer Sarah Cottrell is the voice behind Housewife Plus at the Bangor Daily News and is a regular contributor to Disney’s Babble and Momtastic. She is a co-author in six books including I Still Just Want To Pee Alone from the New York Times Bestselling series. Sarah’s work has also been highlighted and featured by SELF Magazine, National Public Radio, Washington Post, and VICE Tonic.