It’s the thought that counts, right? Today I’m talking gifts


*This post is a collaboration with Shop A Docket*

At the risk of blog-shaming a friend (although I’m fairly certain she doesn’t read my blog. Unless she’s a blog-stalker. Which isn’t unlikely) I want to recount a re-gift situation gone terribly wrong.

Let’s call my friend – and the giver –  Julia.

We were going out for a birthday of mine a few years ago, and she strolled into the restaurant armed with a wine bag.

Cool. She bought me a wine.

I thanked her because wine and placed it next to the other wines I received for for my B day. What can I say? My friends know me too well. Because wine.

And while I was grateful for my gifts, I genuinely am of the mindset that your presence is my present. But I love cards. I’ll take a card.

But here’s the trouble with wine. And it might make you a little jelly (sorry).

My hub and I are in the wine biz and we have wine coming out of our ears. And pores, I suspect. Samples from Chile, excess stock, discontinued yet still amazing varietals that just must be drunk make my garage some kind of wine wonderland.

So while I love wine, I don’t need it.

But back to my friend Julia.

The day after my soiree, I opened my presents in the company of my husband and a major hangover.

They were all lovely. Even Julia’s.


The single – yet crucial – problem with Julia’s gift was that she gave me a single bottle from a box of wine she bought off me for cost price the week before.

So not only did I know the price, I knew exactly how much time she spent picking my gift.


I have literally boxes of this particular wine in my garage.

So it got me thinking. What made her pick such a gift? What was going through her mind when she lifted a bottle out of the box I know too well and popped it in a gift bag?

This is what I came up with:

1)   She just didn’t know what to buy and it was the safest bet

2)   It was a tight month and she genuinely couldn’t afford anything else

3)   She had no time to peruse

4)   She wanted to give me something I would use.

5)   She wanted to un-friend me and thought by giving me something so blatantly thoughtless I would ditch her (I didn’t. Obviously. But I did roll my eyes)

6) She forgot to buy me a present and just brought the wine to save face amongst the other guests.

Now. Even though this example isn’t a re-gift per-se (since she did purchase it off me. Very, very, ridiculously cheaply) it kind of felt like it, in a weird way.

Which brings me to the concept of re-gifting.

I’m the first to admit I’ve re-gifted before. But I have guidelines with my re-gifting. They are:

1)   Item must be new

2)   Item must still adhere to my style/standards and the only reason I am gifting is because I have another similar or I genuinely won’t use it but know the recipient will.

3)   Item must be completely unknown to recipient. I will not re-gift them a MYER gift card if they work at MYER. Or if they gifted me the same MYER gift card.

I remember when gift cards were all the rage. David Jones and Grace Bros (now MYER) started them, and then Westfield made them too. And before you knew it, your local coffee shop sold them. As well as your dry-cleaner.

And more and more, people started to buy gifts that people needed. Because times got tough and luxuries weren’t as desired as necessities were. 

And then coupons became the biggest thing ever since gift cards. But better.

Because you only pay a fraction of the retail price and they get the full shebang – on you!

Banquet Dinners at budget prices, gym memberships, theme park deals, accommodation discounts… the list is endless. You can buy your giftee something fabulous and something they need and you’ll do it affordably.

Shop A Docket has it ALL in the way of bargain hunting for things that are still great and useful and everything you want in a gift – for yourself or someone else. Without the guesswork or fear of being blog-shamed. (Sorry Julia but wow. Just wow.)

What are the rules of giving gifts? Is Julia’s gift completely acceptable or a no-no?

Have you ever given gifts that involve coupons?

All comments read, appreciated and responded to. So thank you x
  • Ms_MotorbikeNut

    I’ve never re-gifted I’ve always used my gifts even if its not for the purpose it’s meant for. I think outside the box on how to use these gifts.

    Having said that please don’t get me wrong re-gifting is fine for some people who like it & I’m not knocking it, I just personally have not re-gifted as of yet.

    (((( Hugs )))) XXXX Kisses XXXX

    • Kat Caravella – Mamma’s Vida

      I think perhaps my re-gifting started when I had my first daughter, I received so many beautiful cot sheet sets and I only needed 2 or three… So I gave them to gorgeous friends that would use them with their babies. But I think re-gifting can get really ugly if you re-gift something that is ratty or used or unnecessary or all of the above. Most people are happy with something small and inexpensive that they’ll use rather than leftovers. And I think many are also happy with re-gifts if there is still a thought there xx

      • Kat Caravella – Mamma’s Vida

        *rather than leftovers xx

  • Lee-Anne Walker

    Not everyone makes a big deal about gifts but I do. I like giving thoughtful, individual presents that symbolise my friends’, family’s interests and how I feel about them. But not everyone is like this and that’s okay. I’m trying not to be judgmental about Julia and her thoughtlessness but I’m struggling… If she has all the other attributes of a good friend, I’d let it go – no one is perfect after all.

    BTW love your check list for re-gifting, Kat – I concur! I only re-gift if it’s something I want myself. :)

    • Kat Caravella – Mamma’s Vida

      I know, Julia, Julia. I find it such a mental battle to not be judgey over material things… But for me the thought really counts even if it costs next to nothing! And there was definitely no thought with Julia’s gift! The wine was nice though :)

  • Pinky Poinker

    If you have that much wine in your garage I’m coming over Saturday night! I wish I was in the wine business. I had an unfortunate incident with regifting once and would NEVER be game to try it again! As Lee-Anne said, not everyone puts emphasis on presents so Julia probably just thought it was a token gift and one she thought you’d use… or she’s a cheapskate.

    • Kat Caravella – Mamma’s Vida

      Hahaha! Must say, people do LOVE sampling the vino of our garage. I reckon you might be right about Julia… I’m hoping it’s the little emphasis bit but I have a feeling it’s more tightarse than anything!

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