Even before I started teaching, I was a shameless re-gifter. It never occurred to me that re-gifting items I received, but not necessarily wanted or needed, was any kind of faux paux in manners. I never re-gifted to someone in the same circle of acquaintances as the original gifter (e.g. I once gave a glass candle holder my old roommate gave me when I lived in CV to my old co-Sunday School director in Stkn).
I don’t re-gift as much as I did in the past. Mainly because I think I’ve allowed myself to be more open, hence people end up knowing me better, and if/when the do give me gifts, it ends up being things I need or want. I also like it when people ask what I want first, if they intend on giving me anything.
However, each year, I receive boat loads of sweets, chocolate, lotion, candles, and mini-hand sanitizers from my students. There always seems to be a theme in their gifts.
Year 1 of teaching: Gift cards (I got a $50 gift cards to Amazon and Macy’s this year! Not to mention the handfuls of Peets and Starbucks…this was a year of generosity)
Year 2: Never ending cookies. Everyone and their mom made cookies for me. I ended up giving nearly all of them away to my neighbors and roommates.
Year 3: Handmade stuff, like a red and black wooden block shaped like a pixelated heart, a scarf, and art.
Year 4: Hand soap and hand sanitizer. Did people think I was disheveled that year?
This year is the year of the Ghiradelli chocolate. Bags upon bags upon bags! I’ve already given about a quarter of the chocolates away to friends so far. If I were to keep them to myself, it would take me a full year to consume them all.
I do have some favorite student gifts:
– The aforementioned red-and-black heart. It was super cute. I kept it on my classroom wall until it fell and smashed to pieces.
– A pink and white paper origami bunny. Still have this on my shelves at school.
– A pretty Christmas ornament.
– Can’t go wrong with gift cards.
– A lovely, scented shea butter bar soap.
And of course, all the thoughtful notes and cards.
Most of my favorite non-student gifts come from my family:
– A real china tea set. I should still have this somewhere.
– A musical wind-up cat in a basket.
– A juicer
– A crockpot
– A Zorjirushi thermos that keeps stuff warm for HOURS
– The entire set of Harry Potter books in hardback
– Muji stationary
– Jewelry handed down to me from the previous generation
– Samples of skin and hair care products
When I took the 5 Love Languages quiz 8 years ago, my top two were 1) acts of service and 2) quality time. I think my top two have now morphed into 1) quality time and 2) gifts, with words of affirmation coming a close third. I used to love it when people did stuff for me. I still do, but now I think I would rather do things for myself, or for other people, rather than have people serve me.