The Art of Recycling Gifts


Giving gifts is high stress stuff and as dangerous as swimming with sharks….writes Bikram Vohra

giftsIn a couple of  weeks many of us will be running about berserk with plastic excitement, wearing funny hats, blowing hooters, making complete ninnies of ourselves  and yelling ‘eppynoooear’ at folks we cannot stand the rest of the year. For sure, it is that season for love and affection and warmth to all mankind and is best reflected in the cheap and tacky gifts we give each other because what is more depressing than spending money on others. 

Giving gifts is high stress stuff and as dangerous as swimming with sharks.

We have just received a gift with the card intact. On opening the envelope we realised it was our card with our signatures wishing the happy couple a happy anniversary in 2013. Two years later they had given back to us without checking out the container. Gives merry go round a completely new meaning.

Okay, stop taking deep breaths, everyone recycles gifts so that is not the issue. But recycling is an art form and there are certain rules. First, for heaven’s sake check that there are no cards. Then change the wrapping. After that ensure there are no inscriptions on the ugly looking doodah you are giving.

Pretty silly you’d look if the gift has ‘Maharajah and Sons’ jewellers written on the back and was a corporate freebie. Pen and pencil sets, ugly wall clocks and those ubiquitous vases made of faux crystal all fall in this category. Make sure the clip on the pen is not embossed with the company’s name. I once gave a pen to someone with my name printed on it.

Another sticky area is giving those sealed gifts which could have the ‘good wishes’ card in the package and you cannot see it. That is a very mean thing some people do because this the fourth time someone has presented you Shakespeare’s Complete Works and much as you love a good dissertation on Hamlet you don’t need it in quadraphonic but you cannot get rid of them because they are sealed and what if the card is inside… the same goes for all coffee table books and DVDS because there could a loving inscription on one of those blank pages before the book starts and is easily overlooked.

How would you explain to Meetu and Shubh that the gift for Xmas you have given them is written to you from Freddie and Pushpa with much love and Season’s Greetings scribbled on page 4.

Do what I do. Stay home. That way you won’t have to open a beautifully wrapped photo frame that has gross filigree borders and shrieks kitsch and you have to say, “Oh, lovvvvvely, just what I wanted.”

Yeah, sure.