Bad news! There are only 26 shopping days left until Christmas. Good news! You can reduce your shopping and stress by developing the fine art of regifting.
Regifting is Fun
Consider Larry Kunkle and Roy Collette. In 1964 Larry’s mother gave him a brand new pair of mole skin trousers for Christmas. Larry hated them so the next year he regifted them to his brother-in-law Roy. Roy re-regifted them to Larry the next year. Thus a bizarre 25 year tradition was born.
Roy returned the pants to Larry stuffed in one-inch round, three-foot long steel pipe with the understanding that Larry had to unwrap them without damaging them. The two agreed that the pants could only be given again if they were undamaged. Their regifting escalated.
Larry installed them inside the glass of an insulated window.
Collette decorated a 600 pound safe with red and white stripes, placed the pants inside, and welded the door shut.
Kunkle wrote a note saying the pants were in the glove box of a 1974 Gremlin. With the note he delivered the Gremlin crushed into a 2,000 pound three-foot cube.
By 1985 Collette built the pants into a 4-ton Rubik’s Cube.
Kunkle hid the pants in a station wagon filled with 170 car generators welded together.
Finally Collette shipped the pants to a friend to encase them in 10,000 pounds of broken glass. But the friend accidentally incinerated the pants in the process. They now sit in an urn on Kunkle’s fireplace.
The Ultimate Regift
As creative and fun as all that is, the ultimate regifting, the regifting I’m talking about, is not complicated or costly, at least financially. Nor is it material. Not that material gifts aren’t meaningful. Several years ago my wife Dee Dee gave me a compound bow for elk hunting. I love that thing. But one of my best memories of Christmas was last year sitting around our kitchen table talking and praying with our adult children. It was one of those time stopping moments, eternity came close.
But why call giving others your time and presence regifitng? Because it affirms that you are a wonderful, creative, priceless creation of God. That all you have and all you are was first given to you by God. When you give yourself to others, it is a giving of what you already have. And that which is most valuable.
The good news of Christmas is this is what Jesus did. He gave of himself. And 2,0000 some years later people are still talking about that gift. I guarantee no one will remember my compound bow that long.
You don’t have top shop till you drop. The ultimate regift then is giving those you love what you already have, yourself. This is the gift of presence, time, attention. This presence is at the heart of Christmas. Of all the things God could have given us, he gave us himself in the person of Jesus.
Why not take each of the shopping days left and be with each other. Put away your smart phone, turn off the TV. Write someone a real letter, on paper. Tell a story. Laugh. Share a meal. These are priceless gifts.