I wrote this post in 2013 and am still enjoying the painting my relative passed on to me. In fact, a couple of years later, another cousin of my mother’s gave me a painting by my grandmother that she had been given and I hung it up with pride. I so enjoy living with these two paintings. If you have unloved items in your home that you can regift to someone who will appreciate them, I urge you to let them go and make someone happy.
I know from working with clients that people have a very difficult time parting with items that were a gift.
When this comes up with clients, I always urge them to ask themselves whether the gift giver would want them to keep an item that they don’t use or love. (Usually the answer is no.) Then I encourage them to give the item to someone else. That someone else could be a stranger (via a charity) or someone they know.
Recently, I met my mother’s first cousin, Penny, for the first time. (We actually met once as kids, but that’s a dim memory.) I was traveling to western Missouri, so I contacted Penny, with whom I’d become reacquainted via email thanks to my genealogy blog. We arranged to spend the day together. (You can read about that fun family reunion on my genealogy blog, Organize Your Family History.)
As we were making the arrangements, Penny offered to regift something to me. She offered me an oil painting that was painted by my grandmother (Penny’s aunt).
To me, this is a perfect example of the power of regifting. Penny is moving and is starting the process of editing her belongings. My parents have my grandmother’s paintings and I imagine I’ll inherit at least one, but this is the first time I’ve been offered one.
Here’s the painting:
"Serenity is the Mood," by Sue Brown
The painting is not exactly my aesthetic. But it was painted my beloved grandmother, whose late-in-life love of painting was a big part of my childhood. I promptly hung it on the wall of one of my home offices. And I cherish it.
If you have items that you don’t cherish or use, but you’re hesitating to let them go because they originally came to you as a gift, please think about happy someone else might be to own that item.
I hereby give you permission to regift!