Thursday, 29 July 2010

Culling and Consuming

We did some re-organising of a room the other day that involved moving two bookcases.  In the process of removing and replacing the books, Bill decided to actually chuck a few, which rather surprised me.  That is, he put them in the pile of books I'd started for further listings on Amazon.  What surprised me about this was that a few of these books were gifts and Bill has always in the past expressed reluctance to part with gifts, even gifts he doesn't particularly want.

I have a certain amount of sympathy for this as I have tended to keep pretty much anything my Mom or my Aunt Rita made for me.  I've even kept most of what Rita bought me in the last 10 years or so, and only recently managed to part with a fleece outfit that, while comfortable, struck me as being a bit young for me.  It was a wrench, I'll admit.

So, when Bill decided to pitch a 2008 Diary that Will Change Your Life (but I don't think it did), I was pleased to see him moving on a bit (even though I gave it to him).  Our tastes in reading material overlap quite a bit (Harry Potter, Peter Wimsey and the like) but I've never been able to stomach a whole Terry Pratchett, I'm just not wired up that way.  Some of the books Bill chucked I had just assumed were sort of in the Pratchett vein, but apparently not.  We've both agreed to sell our Campion collection as well, as we don't seem to enjoy re-reading them like we do the Wimsey books.  

I rarely get a gift I don't like, but sometimes they are surplus to requirements.  I tend to put them into a drawer of a filing cabinet and look through it when I need a gift at short notice or for someone I don't know well, but I don't tend to re-gift very often.  

I've been in a use-it-all-up mode for most of this year and have stopped buying anything until I'm out or down to the last bit on hand.  Having acquired most of the body lotions in Rita's and Ella's collections, I thought I might have a lifetime supply and every time I got to throw out an empty container it almost seemed like time to throw a small party, but it looks as though I'll soon be pulling out that Christmas gift from the Body Shop...if I haven't given it away.  

I've also been working my way through the odd selection of food gifts, mainly exotic oils, vinegars and preserves.  The grapefruit marmalade was interesting and I'm finding that a 2-year out of date bottle of cranberry sauce is quite nice on toast.  Not sure about that lemon curd, though...Bill might get to use that one up.

Do you feel obligated to keep any and every gift you receive?


Jo said...

I tend to keep gifts received for a period of time then they go into a corner and eventually get sent to GoodWill or some other group that is having a sale to raise money. I have been known to regift on occasion. Or donate the gifts at rallys for door prizes.

Liz said...

We're trying to get into serious decluttering mode here but not finding it easy. I'm hanging onto presents given to me by my late parents and brother, and I can't bear to part with the stuff the kids have either made or chosen as gifts. It's a bit like two steps forward and three steps back at the moment!

Struggler said...

I try very hard not to display a gift I don't like, but Beloved Husband has several items tucked away which I know he'll never use (often, gifts from his Dad).
Regifting, yes, absolutely, although I try to do it very carefully. I upset someone horribly when I was a teenager and it was a lesson learned.