[image description: A wrinkled creature with large black eyes, multicolored wings, and a gigantic green hat wearing a blue robe-like garment stands amid a pile of wrapped presents. Text reads, “220 Rhea small god of regifting”]
• • • • •
Much like her sister, Rhea, Rhea believes, truly and completely, that there’s no reason to throw anything away. An object, given once with love, can be given twice; and by giving the same thing twice, you put more love and less waste into the world. She isn’t quite as hardline about things as her sister: “less” waste is not the same as “zero” waste, and bits of ribbon and wrapping will always be destined for the wastebin. Let other gods worry about those things. She’ll worry about making sure her followers understand the rules.
Because yes, regifting, when done under the auspices of Rhea, has rules. Every church comes with its commandments, after all.
There is no shame or crime in regifting something given. No one can read your mind. Sometimes even you can’t read your mind: how often have you yearned for something, begged for something, even bought it for yourself, only to discover that it wasn’t what you wanted after all? Keeping an uncluttered life sometimes requires pruning even the most beloved of objects, and giving someone an object they admire can be a gift in and of itself—a moment of true and radiant joy shared between two friends.
The first rule of regifting is: Remember where it came from. There is no shame in regifting…unless you try to give something back to its originator.
The second rule of regifting is: Hurt no feelings you can avoid. Some people do not care for antiques or used items. Some people will feel you love them less if the object you supply has ever been handled by another being outside the store. Those people may or may not be wrong, but if you are gifting them, consider their hearts before you make your choices.
The third, and most important rule of regifting is: Only regift things you would be happy to receive. Nothing damaged, nothing stained, nothing missing pieces. This is not a means of disposing of trash. It is a way of honoring the inanimate, moving it to a more suitable home than the one where it does not belong.
Rhea is, in some ways, a god of age. As we grow older, she grows closer, reminding us that a gift given now is not an object squabbled over in the will.
She cares for your possessions. She hopes that you will, too.
• • • • •
Join Lee Moyer (Icon) and Seanan McGuire (Story) Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for a guide to the many small deities who manage our modern world: