Is all recycling okay?

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Arbor
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Is all recycling okay?

Post: # 228187Post Arbor »

You see, I have this shameful habit - I recycle my gifts.
I have never told this to any of my friends and family (mainly because it is their gifts I recycle!). It's not that I am ungrateful but like most people I have plenty of 'stuff' and lots of the gifts I receive are surplus to requirements. I do send some gifts to the charity shop but I do sometimes pass on unwanted gifts to others. Am I the only one who does this? I wish I had the courage to simply say:
'Right everyone, this present buying lark is out of hand, I don't need any more scented candles and you don't need any more Bath Bombs! so let's just STOP!'

But to say no more presents takes a lot of courage, are people going to think you don't care about them? I sat down recently and worked out how much our family spends on cards and gifts (excluding the recycled gifts) and it was a shockingly high figure. Happy Christmas, Get Well, Congratulations (on new baby, engagement, wedding, passing driving test, passing exams, getting a new job etc etc), Happy Birthday, Mothers Day, Fathers Day, Easter day the list goes on and on and on...

I remember when a jam jar filled with bath salts and decorated with a ribbon was considered a presentable present. All this gift buying has gone too far and I really want to find a way to get off the treadmill without offending people or them thinking I am miserly.

How do other people handle the gift buying dilemna? What do you do about friends who insist on buying you expensive gifts? Do you return with something equally expensive? and what about weddings, they have become increasingly ostentatious, couples spend a fortune on the day and when you look at the wedding list you realise that a bale of towels is not going to be an adequate gift.

So is recycling gifts okay- what if I get caught out?
In my daily life I am thrifty, but I care about family and friends, so how do I step off the present buying merry go round without upsetting anyone?

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Re: Is all recycling okay?

Post: # 228188Post MKG »

Recycling gifts has been going on for ever. If you're a fan of Tolkien, you'll recognise the definition of a mathom. Of course it's OK.

However, last year we took the plunge and told everyone that it was all going to stop. We didn't allow any discussion - we just told everyone that the constant mutual spending (and the inevitable competition to buy presents of increasing worth) was just plain stupid considering that if we all kept the money, we'd buy something we wanted rather than receiving a panic buy. We explained that we didn't expect any gifts - indeed, we'd be a tad annoyed if anyone ignored our wishes.

No-one objected. In fact, several said what a good idea it was.

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Re: Is all recycling okay?

Post: # 228205Post red »

one thingymas we did agree with extended family to go to home made token you dont have to bother really if you dont want to gifts. its worked well ever since

so perhaps you should just test the water with the idea?
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Re: Is all recycling okay?

Post: # 228208Post oldjerry »

I think I quite like giving and recieving pressies,it throws up all sorts of weird social morays,and interesting situations.
Quite like the idea of making the pressies rather than buying too,for different reasons.(the kids aint so keen though.......)

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Re: Is all recycling okay?

Post: # 228220Post sarahkeast »

My mum always buys my children Savings Bonds, these are accumulating nicely, the children now appreciate the longer term value, and also like the magazine or low cost gift/book that they get with the Bonds.

For mum I buy stuff from Oxfam; she got a goat for Christmas and seeds for 3 African families for Mothers Day [along with a card with impregnated herb seeds]. Will sponsor a Community Nurse for her b'day as she was a District Nurse. She neither wants nor needs anything and appreciates the thought that go into these alternative gifts.
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Re: Is all recycling okay?

Post: # 228226Post george »

I also made an agreement with my family not to buy Christmas gifts. It works well and is good for us as there is not really anything we want or they want. My sister wanted to continue buying gifts for my parents but always does those Oxfam gifts.

I receive random gifts from other people all the time and I do re-gift them as much as possible.

The gift boxes available in Korea are usually fancy boxes of food or toiletries so at least it is useful although a gift box of 10 tins of spam still seems a bit odd to me!

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Re: Is all recycling okay?

Post: # 228298Post mrsflibble »

I love re-gifting.

and my sister in law ans i made a pact about 3 years ago: home made or second hand presents or nothing. from me to her: a home made scarf, bag, piece of art... from her to me: a jar of home made oatmeal and raisin cookies (she's vegan, I'm lactose intollerant so we've got one base covered at least lol; she's also texan which makes for REALLY AMAZING cookies), an apron, a notepad she's covered in some funky paper she or her mother found in some tiny shop somewhere obscure... we know that love went into it, which is what counts.

we've also managed to get the other sister in law on board now so this year, after she was persuaded by a crocheted handbag for xmas ;)... even more thrifty goodness now!!!
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Re: Is all recycling okay?

Post: # 228306Post Zech »

I have an agreement with my family that we won't exchange gifts. When we started this, part of the agreement was that we'd spend the money saved on getting together for a meal out and being a bit more extravagent than we would otherwise. Now, unfortunately, we live too far apart for that, but at least we save the money and unwanted stuff.

This means my husband's family are the only people with whom we exchange gifts, and this is too small a group for passing on unwanted gifts, otherwise I certainly would!
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Re: Is all recycling okay?

Post: # 228366Post Thomzo »

Of course it's OK. A gift is given freely and is yours to do with as you wish. I often recycle gifts (and I do write down who gave me what). Think of it this way, X gave you something that has value for you. It has value if it's useful to you for what it actually is (eg a book you want to read) or it has value as something you can give to Y (thereby saving you the cost of buying a gift for Y), or it has value as a charity donation. Whichever way, you have received value from the gift.

Just be a good isher and pass it on to someone who will appreciate it, don't just give it to the next birthday girl to get rid of it regardless of whether they will like it or not.

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Re: Is all recycling okay?

Post: # 228391Post Susie »

I think recycling presents is absolutely fine unless you do like my aunt's mother in law did, which was give someone a box of chocolates my mother had given her for christmas, with some of the chocolates eaten and the gift card still in. After they had passed their use by date. (Perhaps she had waited specially?) :lol:

I like exchanging presents, it's just part of Yule for me and I like the celebratory aspect (we don't really buy gifts for birthdays much and I don't know anyone at the moment who's getting married, so it's mostly in December we have to go into present-buying mode). We don't spend lots though, we often do homemade and generally I find people like it better. (I tend to do stuff like food item + extra knitted/ sewn item for close family). The downside is though you can look a bit like Martha Stewart on acid and make people feel inadequate, so I think actually the more homemade and less professional things look, the better people like them!

Also, if you have stuff like homemade chutney/ jam in your cupboard there always tends to be spare and if people take you by surprise by giving you a gift you can give them a jar with a ribbon round it. And yes if someone surprised me with an expensive gift I hadn't asked for I would feel absolutely no shame about presenting them with a jar in return. Chutney: insurance against potentially awkward social situations :wink: .
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Re: Is all recycling okay?

Post: # 228446Post Arbor »

Loads of interesting responses -thankyou.

I am now determined to think about how I slim down my gift giving without giving offence to my family and friends.

When I added it up it was shocking!
£50 at Christmas and Birthdays for Husband and Son
£20 at Christmas and birthdays for Mum, Dad, Brother, Sister, Brother-in-law, Sister-in-law, 8 nieces and nephews, 2 Great Nephews and best friend.
£10 at Christmas and Birthdays for 5 close friends.
£20 for Mother's day and Father's day.
£820 a year and that's all without donations for work colleagues, presents for Easter, Weddings, Christenings etc etc.

I realise that I am blessed to have such a large and lovely family and although we are on an average income I can just about afford to give gifts. I am just finding that as I get older my family expands evermore and my two new lovely great nephews are just the start as my nephews and nieces become adults and have children of their own.

What grieves me is not so much the money but the excessive giving to each other when none of us needs any more stuff.
So courage in my hands, with all your advice taken on board I am going to start a little pruning.
I am going to give some hand made gifts. I am going to reduce the amount I spend on some people and have a conversation with some about no longer exchanging gifts. Thankyou :king:

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