The Sweater May Not Be Ugly to Everyone


When ugly sweaters first became a holiday “thing,” I laughed and laughed.

I laughed – until I was browsing an “ugly sweater” rack at the store and found one eerily similar to one I had at home that I did not consider ugly. It was red, with a reindeer on the front that had a string of lights on its antlers that really lit up, courtesy of a hidden battery pack.

How many times had I, believing I was being festive, fun and fashionable, worn that red sweater? Oh, the humanity.

I was suddenly reminded of a line from the movie, “When Harry Met Sally.”

Sally’s friend Marie says, “Everybody thinks they have good taste and a sense of humor but they couldn’t possibly all have good taste.”

The truth is, your ugly sweater could be someone else’s fashion masterpiece.

In fact, your great Christmas gift could end up being the recipient’s “White Elephant” offering at next year’s office holiday celebration.

It happens more often than you might think. A survey found that more than 60 percent of people get at least one unwanted gift every Christmas. No matter how great you think your taste is, you could easily be the giver of that one unwanted gift.

That same survey found that clothing and accessories are, hands down, the riskiest gifts to give, followed by household items and cosmetics – such as perfume. And apparently, friends and in-laws are most likely to give unwanted gifts.

So, what happens to all of these wayward gifts? A third of those surveyed keeps them, about 20 percent exchanges them for something else, and another third re-gifts them.

Re-gifting is a strange custom. “I don’t want it, but I think I will give it to someone else to not want.”

The reality is, a lot of people are re-gifting. In fact, December 23 has been designated National Re-gifting Day. However, before you participate, you should know that according to multiple online sources, there is a certain re-gifting etiquette.

Above all, you must make sure you are not giving the re-gift to the person who originally gave it to you. If you aren’t sure who it was, it’s wise to err on the side of caution.

Also, if you consider the item you are re-gifting to be junk, don’t do it! Chances are, whomever you give this item to will feel just as compelled to re-gift it in the future. If you donate the item instead, you give it a fighting chance to fulfill its Christmas destiny and find a home where it will be truly loved.

It is strongly suggested that if the item is personalized or handmade, you probably should not re-gift it.

Also, make sure you re-wrap the re-gift and remove any gift tags that were affixed when you opened it in the first place.

If you somehow discover that someone has re-gifted something you gave them, try not to take it personally. A great gift is in the eye of the beholder. What matters most about a gift is the sentiment behind it. If you give it with love, that’s all that really matters.



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