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We take it for granted that your gift list is also a shopping list, but we’d like to suggest a curveball idea for those at the very top of your list: the old gift.

It’s something you’ve owned for years—a first-edition book, maybe, or a trinket you picked up in foreign climes. Something you’ve had long enough to get tired of, but that hasn’t lost its luster to anyone else. Something personal.

And most importantly, something money can’t buy.

As you’ve probably noticed, it’s not regifting—although a few blogs have tried to reclaim the term in recent years. To our eye, it’s more about taking due care of whatever objects you happen to own. Most of this blog is dedicated to accumulating those objects, but space is limited (so is your attention span and closet space), so you have to get rid of a few of them from time to time as well. And if you’re doing your shopping right, some of them are bound to be too precious for eBay.

It’s a hell of a gift, make no mistake. But more than that, it’s a lesson in wearing your possessions lightly. We love objects in these parts—the watches, the shoes, the art—but it’s important not to cling. If that means once a year, choosing one of your favorite baubles and wrapping it up for a close friend, we’d say you’re getting off cheap.

—R.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Russell Brandom