Thursday, December 3, 2009

Get: Regifting with Elan

Let's be honest: everybody, at some point, has regifted. As those of you who always agree with me know, I think regifting was originally conceived by native Americans. Ramon A. Gutierrez, associate professor of history and ethnic studies at the University of California, San Diego, writes about the social aspects and inequalities of gift giving. Regifting isn't the central thesis of his book When Jesus Came, the Corn Mothers Went Away: 1500-1846 (Stanford University Press, 1991) but can be inferred to include regifting, if you have an open enough mind body dialog. In a conversation that I imaged having with him during an inner peace stretch session early yesterday morning it occurred to me that we could all benefit from a return to Native American giving habits and their uncanny reliance on what are now recognised to be sound ecological recycling practices. But, their gifts were so not stylish.

Hence today's letter: regift with elan. Here are some great ideas:

Personalize It: every object can be personalized - if you are artistic enough you can do it yourself with an etching knife or, for those of us more challenged in that arena, by taking it to Tiffanys. Even if the gift didn't start there if you use this code: POOGrocks when you take the gift in, they'll do it for just $150.00. Far cheaper than the cost of a new gift.

Daisy Chain It: With every regift include a "regifting chain." This is the list of people you'd like to see this gift go to over the course of the next year. It's really special if you write the list on embossed paper in a Renaissance script, to capture the holiday spirit. It's really a nice gesture when you are regifting to a particularly busy person. Takes their having to think about who to give it to next right out of the process. For those among us that love things, this document can take on a life of its own and in this sterile digital age who doesn't love a hand-written progressive regifting geneology at the end of the year? Pas moi!

Give it Star Power: Think of your most illustrious friend and have them autograph the object. This is always fun and can make for years of cocktail party patter. One of my favorites! One of my most treasured possessions is a paper weight carved from the petrified skin of pig carcass suspended in translucent oleo. M. thought a signature from Damien Hirst was just the right thing and I have to agree.

Location! Location! Location!: Last but now least, half of the gift is its packaging. Colorful, drawstring silk bags hand painted in Nepal can make any gift memorable. Don't underestimate the power of cashmere, either. Cut up any old blanket or throw to make delightful gift saris. Tie with a starched satin ribbon and your good to go!

I hope you like these as much as I do and that they help to make your seasonal regifting a little more fun! Send us your ideas!


A GOOP Spoof

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