Jewish World Review Jan. 6, 2004 / 12 Teves, 5764
Some timely tips on targeted re-gifting
Now that Martha Stewart is temporarily out of pocket and unable to
provide the kind of helpful holiday hints that allow us to get through
the annual end-of-the-year nightmare with a measure of peace, I have -
as a public service - decided to step up to the plate with a nifty idea for
all. It's also politically correct, too, because anyone can use it; doesn't
matter if you celebrate Christmas, Chanukah, Ramadan or Kwanzaa or
simply assemble the party hats to blow out seasonal birthday candles
for J. Edgar Hoover, Humphrey Bogart, Lebron James or Jimmy Buffet.
I have employed my useful idea for decades. It works like a charm. It's
called re-gifting. Here's how it goes: Sort through any stupid or
duplicate presents you got in the past few days and give them to
I began doing it 20 years ago when I got a couple of 32-ounce, 33-inch
Louisville Slugger bats for Christmas. Knowing I could swing only one
at a time, I decided to give the extra bat to someone else. This allowed
me to save a few bucks as well as have the recipient think nice thoughts
I gave the extra bat to my mother. Turns out it was a mistake because
Ma had hung up the spikes years earlier. Still, I figured, it's the thought
that counts, and I could sense that if I gave more consideration to the
turnaround process involved in re-gifting that, as Martha would say,
it's a good thing.
However, there are some basic rules: Don't forget to tear off the original
card and replace it with one you've signed. And rewrap the re-gift. It's a
And don't worry about who gets what. It doesn't matter. Plus, there's
always more than enough to go around. For example, this year, in
addition to getting enough socks and handkerchiefs to supply the 1st
Infantry Division in Baghdad, I received some books and DVDs I'd
already purchased for myself.
One of the books was "Cold Mountain," a novel that won many big
literary prizes despite being written with a trowel. It's one of those
books that got so much acclaim, my inability to get through the first
paragraph made me feel inadequate, even stupid, until others reported
lapsing into a coma after page 2.
I decided to re-gift John Kerry with my extra copy of "Cold Mountain."
Plus, I am going to throw in the DVD "Four Weddings and a Funeral" for
the poor guy, even though he's only been married twice and it appears
services will be held for his candidacy in New Hampshire at the end of
this month. "Titanic" is also a possibility for Kerry, produced at a cost of
millions and it ends under water.
How about sending Howard Dean gift-wrapped copies of "Anger
Management" and "Little Big Man." Ship those out to Iowa along with
"Field of Dreams" addressed to Dick Gephardt.
Re-gifting can be bipartisan, too. Tell me Vice President Cheney
wouldn't enjoy passing the popcorn and watching this double bill as he
prepares to publicly explain his role in going to war with Iraq: "True
Lies" and "Wag the Dog." And why not put "Lawrence of Arabia" and
"Wayne's World" in the same box, marked to the attention of President
Joseph Lieberman? "The Long Goodbye." Give Al Sharpton "Trading
Places" as well as "A Bronx Tale." And John Edwards gets that extra
copy of "Shampoo."
It's called re-gifting. And it's a beautiful thing.
JWR contributor Mike Barnicle is a columnist for the New York Daily News. Comment by clicking here.
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