Aunt Lelah and Re-gifting


The Case of Aunt Lelah
New ways to look at re-gifting.

The recent poll in our local weekly, The Statesman Examiner, says that 38% of people in the study believe that re-gifting is okay.

Aunt Lelah has quite the reputation in my Mother’s large family for making a practice of it.  She was petite, barely five feet tall, but reached legendary status for her talent at doing so.  “Which one is going to get a gift we gave her years ago,” I heard my Mother whisper one Christmas gathering to her sister Stella.

Aunt Lelah was married to my Mother’s brother, Fill Westland.  She couldn’t care less what anyone thought of her.  She blazed through life like a little tornado, a practical person doing what was needed to get through the Christmas season.

The Lazy Bee, where I live, is a rustic ranch in the Pacific Northwest.  Through the years it has received its share of re-gifted items.  Usually they’re hand-crafted, always large in size~, mainly made of wood or fabric,  a plaque, painting, wall-hanging, mainly representations of the Old West.  We savor them for a time.

Returning to Aunt Lelah and the things I’ve learned through her reputation: a) A re- gift is something that’s been given to someone new; b) It’s passed along to a recipient in SECRET;   c) The person who is giving a re-gifted gift may be spotted and tagged as a being one who re-gives a gift they’ve received; d) If enough investigative reporting is done, most everyone at some time has re-gifted an item.

The subject of re-gifting is rarely talked about, even around a blazing camp fire.  Libraries may have policies in place for re-gifts.  I’ve been a board member at the Cedar Falls Public Library in Iowa and the Spokane Public Library is WA. State.  The topic has been debated.

To sum up – if one looks at the re-gifting in Aunt Lelah’s case, it’s not bad.  In her case, it created memories, that have given her a legacy.  She had to wait until the perfect recipient came along to pass along a gift that she’d received.  If the person receiving her gift recalled who had first received the gift, they could either find a use of the present or make the decision to pass it along.

One final note: I believe that the best re-gift is what happens in a DIVORCE.  We pass someone along to a person who hopefully is a better fit.