"Cocoa is so happy when he gets to tear up a stuffed animal!" my daughter Claire said about her dog.
Last year, hiking partner Gro gave me wool arm warmers for Christmas. Arm warmers? Must be a Scandinavian thing. Bemused, I politely thanked her. But...
Today for Cocoa, I got two beef and cheese-flavored dog "bones" and sewed them inside the arm warmers. He will love tearing them up! A great way to recycle a gift I don't want.
Here are Claire, Matt and Cocoa at their wedding last September at Lake Chelan.
How have you recycled gifts you don't want?
Depending on the gift, the intent, and the person, I'll either tell them outright and offer for them to keep it, chuck it out, or use it in a secret santa/raffle type thing.
My favourite is when I got some lovely bubble bath (I don't have a tub, just a shower cubicle), regifted it to another friend, and they regifted to the original person, all for the same Christmas!
I won some MINI puddle lights in my MINI Cooper club. I didn't want to bother installing them, so I re-gifted them the following Christmas. My girlfriend gave me some Grizzle Bear socks, I pointed out that the socks were medium and I verge on XL. Since they were her size, she tried them on, decided they were ugly.
Why not host or go to a 'white' elephant party. You can wrap up the gift and someone else can be the lucky recipient. Be warned, thou, it can backfire. A friend held such a party every year and one day, in a thrift store I spotted two porcelain white elephants and bought them and gave them to someone at the party. It was really funny. But somehow, years later those 2 elephants came back to me.
In senior year of high school one of my friends was a barista at a somewhat historical coffee shop. It was noted as being a restaurant diner where Elvis got accosted by so many jealous rednecks that he swore he'd never play in Kingsport again. Bob Dylan also had a song about leavin ol Kingsport town with a high sheriff on his trail, so apparently being a rock n roll or beatnik type was enough to make instant enemies around here in the 50s and 60s, but I digress.
The reopened coffeeshop had a nice collection of antique books on a shelf for perusal or for sale. The two that caught my eye were from the late 19th and early 20th century: a book cataloging card games from back when blackjack was still called Vingt Un (french for 21 I think), and a first edition of collected short stories by O Henry.
My friend saw me admiring these two and gifted me the book on card games, very thoughtful. But originally the reason I had been eying it was as a gift for another friend, who taught me a lot of what I know about chess, poker, euchre, hearts, spades etc. I would have loved the O Henry book if I was buying for myself. As it was my original intention to gift the card book, I didnt feel too bad passing it along to my other friend. I wrote a nice dedication to him on the blank page with a stanza of a 1908 poem by Grantland Rice:
"Keep coming back, and though the world may romp across your spine,
Let every game's end find you still upon the battling line;
For when the One Great Scorer comes to mark against your name,
He writes - not that you won or lost - but how you played the Game."
As a knitter, I would prefer that people tell me that they cannot use or accept anything I make for them so I can be the one to replace it and give it to someone else who would appreciate it. I would be very miffed if someone destroyed what I handmade, and of course, I would never make that mistake twice.
Wool is very expensive and the time to knit is not without care and love...for example, I made my niece a scarf that cost $75 in materials and took me over 4 hours to make...so basically, a scarf over $100...
That being said...once given, the gift is no longer mine, so do what you want...and yes, I have recycled many gifts...or just passed them on...
Almost never happens. As a long-time minimalist, since well before it became a thing, I've gotten people to either 1) give me nothing physical and 2) if they insist, it be consumable, cigars or liquor. On those rare occasions where that doesn't happen, I either find someone to give it to or donate to charity. The latter happens rarely, and not for years.
My wife just looked for an old gift she once got from our daughter, a gift wrapped lump of coal. It was a joke from our daughter, but Anna wanted to give it to a teacher who is not empathetic towards her students. The wrapping had become tattered, and she decided not to regift it.
Yes I've recycled gifts. When I was teaching, a student gifted me a beautiful box of expensive soap, lotion, shower gel and powder in a scent I don't like, but a close friend loved.
I've also regifted a few times when I really did like the item, but knew someone who would also like it and I was short on money so passed the gift on.
Neither idea below is regifting, but the first one worked out just fine for me.
For my birthday in Feb 2016, I received a $100 gift card to Menards. I never shop at that store, so I sold it off for $80.
This Christmas, I already recieved a $50 gift card to Texas Roadhouse. Would be very weird for me to go dinner, by myself. I'm single and pretty much a loner. So I am considering selling the card off for $40.
I got homemade biscotti that I can't eat due to celiac disease. My friend doesn't know me well enough to know that. It was very sweet that he left it on my door step. I told the story to a friend and asked her if she wanted it and she was happy to take it.
Another time someone left homemade cookies on my doorstep. There was no note and no one ever identified themselves as the giver. I threw them away. What else can you do?
Oh, yes. My first wife gave me several. One was a musical beer stein which I never touched. Another was a shirt and sweater combination, the colors of which were absolutely ghastly. She bought it the set only because it was marked down by a store in an attempt to get rid of it. And, there were more.