I don't mind getting regifts or free-for-the-giver, so long as it's appropriate for me and not used.
What I do object to is when I give someone a gift, like my best friend and I gave her an expensive coffee maker for her wedding..which was on her list. She gave it to me for my birthday and was shocked that I remembered that I gave it to her. SHE WROTE ME A THANK-YOU CARD. It was on my kitchen bulletin board! I spent $130 and I was in graduate school; of COURSE I remembered that I gave her something really expensive. In my graduate program, if we accepted the scholarship, one of the provisions was that we couldn't get a job beyond the penty-ante stipend we received for doing all of the professors' work. I saved for almost a year to be able to afford it and sold back books I intended to keep. I was sooo proud of myself that I'd saved and was able to buy it for her.
She never did anything like that again after she made the mistake of asking what I thought.
Then there was my sister who bought me these expensive, gaudy bee earrings. My lobes are small, and the earrings were so big I couldn't wear them. They hurt. Normally, that would just be a swing and a miss; I do love unique earrings. But about a month before then, I discovered I was deathly allergic to bees. My mother kind of said, oh what an interesting choice, to which my sister said, "oh, didn't you say she collected bees now?" My mom said, "no, I told you she was in the hospital because she was stung by bees."
But the person who takes the cake is my sister in law. She was a PE teacher, so I always got what was clearly her teacher gifts. I thought about giving her *my* teacher gifts, but the years it was the worst, I taught at a magnet school and got some damn good gifts. The worst of the worst was when she gave me slightly used foot pedicure set--I got one of those every year. But what was even WORSE about the slightly used was it was personalized--the bottle said "Ms. ___, Best PE Teacher!" She didn't even NOTICE until my brother--her husband, said something. Clearly, he had nothing to do with shopping.
My best present ever was this gorgeous, heavy silver hour glass from my parents. The sand was this silvery white, and shimmery, but it did not have glitter in it. It was beautiful, and unexpected. It was one of those things that I didn't know I wanted an hourglass, but once I saw it...IT WAS MY PREEECIIIOUSSSS.
The other was the year my parents gave in and bought my tickets for Skate America and gave me a portion for the plane ride. It wasn't an original gift,e xactly, but my parents are very adament--dad in particular--that gifts are things you buy and wrap and open, whether you want it or not! Besides seeing skating, it was one of the few years where they gave me what I actually wanted rather than what they wanted to give me or think that I should want. I'm working on them for Nationals.
On the whole though, I've been very lucky in gifting. Some of the stories here are