"Oh, wow, gee, thanks for....this".
You know that uncomfortable moment when you open the tasteful packaging to reveal an unneeded or otherwise inexplicable gift. (Or are you blissfully unaware of this problem? Here's a heads up.)
So there you are with a pile of gifts that you don't want/can't use: what next? In a word, "Regifting" (or, passing off your gift to someone else, ideally without divulging the backstory).
While it may seem lazy or awkward to regift, I'm actually all for it when, of course, done properly. As a basic rule of thumb, it's acceptable to regift if you know someone who would genuinely appreciate the gift more than you.
Such a delicate situation requires hard and fast rules to survive a regifting episode without regrets. Here are 5 tips you should consider before you start:
1) ...if the original gift was given to you by a family member or good friend
Imagine your mother-in-law comes over expecting to see that "wonderful" vase she gave you for Christmas, only to realise that it's not actually in your house but your neighbours'. Instead, suck it up and take one for the team by displaying it proudly during her visit (and then promptly hiding it when she leaves).
2) ...if the original gift is defective or just plain awful
Remember that episode of Seinfeld where the label maker is regifted because it actually doesn't work? This is a big no-no! If you don't want something broken, why would anyone else? The same rule applies for that hideous sweater you wouldn't be caught dead wearing.
3) ... with a personal touch
I've received items in giftbags or freebies from work/volunteer events which I've given away as gifts if I don't need or want them. When I do this, I always add a little something extra - a great lipstick or a Starbucks gift card shows a personal touch that reflects the gifter and giftee.
4) ... on the "down low "
Oversharing about the gift's origin makes you look cheap and spoils the moment for the other person. Don't feel the need to be upfront and let them know that this gift was not originally meant for them - this doesn't make anyone feel special.
5) ... using fresh wrapping paper
Have you heard the regifting urban legend where the giver didn't rewrap the present and simply passed it along? How awkward it is for your co-worker to receive a card enclosed with her gift from "your loving Aunt Sarah"! Take a moment to change up the wrapping paper you cheap shmuck, and make sure you include a nice (fresh!) card.
Let us know: have you ever regifted or received a regift?
More by Alexandra C.
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I'm a re-gifter! I often get duplicates if gifts for my children, and I get the duplicates for last minute birthday parties. I also re-gift clothing that doesn't fit and can't be returned/exchanged. What else am I going to do with 3 of the same storybook or a shirt that is 2 sizes too small?
I am sure I have regifted- I can't think of a specific situation right now but still, I am sure I have. I like to think I've done it tastefully and discreetly.
such cute ideas, and huge fan of seinfeld loved that!!
I think that all the comments on regifting are a bit harsh. I don't see how it's nicer to keep something hidden in your closet year round than to give it to someone else. There is one other rule that I think should be mentioned though, and that's to regift outside of the social circle that you received the gift in. Otherwise, it's more likely to be discovered.
I was re-gifted this year!I can tell you it doesn't feel very good.I sent my friend a really cute hand bag last year and guess what I got for Christmas this year from her the same bag came back to me! So she totally forgot that I sent it to her last year and I know she would feel stupid if she realized what she did.Its a very awkward situation.
I can't say i've ever regifted anything (and yes I have gotten gifts I thought who on earth would think I'd like this??). I do think there's things that can be regifted. Example, books are a great one. I have tons of books I have only read once and know of people who would enjoy it. Plus if you are like me, most of my books don't even look touched. I think as long as you are regifting with thought for that person then its okay, if you are doing it just to get rid of the item.. that's a little selfish.
I don't like re-gifting myself. If I get something I wouldn't use I just keep it in the closet until I hear about someone else wanting something like it and just give it to them at anytime. But I can usually find a use for anything I get for occasions.
I personally feel the same about it being a bit "mean" or insulting as well. HOWEVER, my grandma spends the entire year ordering things through various charities, catalogues, etc for her 13 grandchildren and then at the end of the year just puts whomevers name on gifts....all of which are useless gifts (as harsh as that may sound), like religious figurines (im not religious at all!) or thousands of xmas decorations. I cant really re-gift these items as theyre not really for anyone lol, so I just donate them to charity...at least I feel a little bit better about it :)
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