Honest Bat Mitzvah Mom: leftover presents


groovy silverplate menorah. A keeper.

The pitch: a zippy, secure website for re-gifting or selling all those presents your kid got for a bar or bat mitzvah. Profits can go directly to the charity of choice, or to the seller’s own account. Call it, say, e-Bar, or e-Bat. Detailed item description—of paramount importance—is made easy with pull-down categories and excruciatingly precise description templates. Just fill out the form, attach the pics, and go.

Will someone please invent this so I can go? Now? In our attic are boxes of perfectly good gifts my daughter has absolutely no interest in: jewelry, ritual objects, tchotckes, accessories. The volume is astonishing, even though half her family isn’t Jewish (which, in our case, means a total of 2 gifts from my branch of the tree), and even though the whole event wasn’t really huge at all. It was quite restrained, given all I’ve heard through the Manischewitz grapevine.

Some gifts are lovely, some are hideous, but even the hideous ones will be thought lovely by someone. Else. I feel a bit snarky even mentioning the fact that so many gifts suck, but I am working from the assumption that they were all heart-felt, sincere, loving gestures from good, thoughtful people. People who took the time, trouble and money to actually select something and to actually get it to the giftee in a timely fashion. (Unlike me, who has a small pile of wrapped gifts waiting to be delivered to children made adults over a year ago.)

Perhaps I do deserve the adjective snarky, but I mean well. I want these things to get good homes. I tried selling a few on eBay, super-cheap and right before Hanukkah, but except for one glittery hamsa necklace, they got not one single bid. I suppose I could take them to Goodwill or Salvation Army, but this is Nashville: what at the odds a Goodwill customer will do a happy dance when she sees a pewter menorah or a set of glass candle holders? Nashville’s 0.2 percent Jewish population does not make this a likely scene. More likely is for the Goodwill shopper to not guess my goodies are Jewish.

No, this stuff needs to go where supply and demand can co-mingle in a win/win web transaction. But someone has to invent the platform, first. Until that lovely day dawns, see below for some swap options should anyone have similar needs.

By the way, during my googling frenzy I couldn’t help but notice the domain YidBid.com is up for grabs.There you go.I gave you the idea and a name. Let me know when I can sign up.

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To sell:

To swap or barter:
Swap Thing
Craigslist (sell, giveaway, or barter)
SwapTree (books, videos, CDs, DVDs)

Gift Card exchanges:
Plastic Jungle

Jewish Charity:
Hadassah thrift shop
Jewish Foundation/Federation (for refugees)

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