Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Gifts - Regifting

It's only four days to go until Christmas and I know some of you haven't finished your shopping. Heck, I bet some of you haven't started it! And then some of you may have one or two more things on your list but find you have no more time to shop - I'm here to help. Today's topic is regifting. I'm not sure where this term originated, some say it first appeared in a Seinfeld episode, but the concept has been around forever. Regifting is taking a gift given to you and gifting it to someone else. There are rules to regifting that must be adhered to do the process successfully. The following information should get you on the right track to successful regifting and perhaps even finish your Christmas shopping in your own home. Regifting is budget-friendly, clears unwanted clutter in your home, and can be beneficial to the gift giver and recipient both.
The first must of regifting is giving a gift that is unopened with tags in place or plastic-wrap, etc. A new item is what you'd get at the store so a new item must be for regifting. The only exception to this rule is telling the recipient that the gift is opened, used, or the like. "Mom, I know the DVD has been opened, but Bob and I only watched it once and we'll never watch it again. We know you love this movie and want you to enjoy it from here on out." This is a perfectly acceptable scenario. Perhaps including more - microwave popcorn, a box of candy, and a bottle of wine - would be nice accompaniments, but they are not necessary. Handing off an article of clothing you know would fit a friend or relative is fine, as long as the garment is unworn and is in style. Common sense rules here as does the Golden Rule - "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
The second must of regifting is making sure the item being passed on is not expired, whether food, scented items or the like, nobody wants spoiled or past due 'gifts'. If these items are old, smell badly, or are faded (i.e. candles) then simply toss them. These are not items for regifting. However, a fresh tin of cookies, a newly purchased bottle of wine or box of candy, or a recently copyrighted box of designer candles are all lovely things to pass on to others if they do not suit your diet, taste, or lifestyle. Again, simply make sure the person/people you are passing them on to do not have dietary restrictions, a no drinking policy, or small children or pets who shouldn't be near candles! In other words, know your recipient and regift accordingly.
Many times we are gifted items that just aren't our taste, do not fit our lifestyle, or simply don't mesh with our likes. If the gift we've received is in excellent condition, is not too old, and would be better suited to someone else in our lives, passing the gift along is a terrific idea. From electronic gadgets, decorative pillows, scarves, holiday jewelry, homemade foods, and trinkets to clothing, video games, and movies, regifting is not only budget-friendly but a green way to observe Christmas by not going out in your car, shopping, getting bags to carry your loot home, etc. These items already exist so put them back into circulation and find the perfect home for them! But please be aware it is never okay to pass on personalized gifts you've received. Again, common sense dictates, but I bet there have been people who tried to regift a personalized photo album, needlepoint, or sweatshirt. If the personalization is there, you must keep it or get rid of it, you cannot regift the item in good conscience.
Lastly, do your best to make the gift extra special. Add a lovely note to the recipient about why you thought he/she would like the item. Make the item part of a gift basket and add other items you think he/she would enjoy in the theme you've created. Put batteries into gadgets/toys to make sure the item is in fine working order and ready to use right out of the packaging. Just make sure the gift is one you're proud to give and they'd be happy to receive.
As with all gift-giving, it really is the thought that matters. When regifting you must make an extra effort to think, check and recheck, and present well and with great thought. This Christmas season, look around your home and see what you might give to a person/family who might need, appreciate, and enjoy it more than you. The gift is doing NOTHING positive in your home if it just sits there collecting dust. Just remember, regift with sincere thought and love and the gift will be received that way!


  1. I'll be completely honest here. I am TOTALLY against re-gifting. I would much rather tell the person, "This was given to me, but (insert reason you don't want it here). I thought that you might like to have it because (explain what about the item you think they would like about it)." Unwrapped, not during a gifting time.

    To me, re-gifting, meaning wrapping up something of yours and giving it to someone else, has a hint of dishonesty to it. I'd rather donate the item (if appropriate) to a charity like Good Will, Salvation Army, or the Kidney Foundation if I can't find someone that I know who would like something that I am not using.

    There is an exception though, things that are containers... i.e. tins, those are meant to be reusable and I find are totally acceptable to pass on. What is INSIDE the container is the actual gift. The fudge, cookies, candy, brittle, etc.

    Call me a "fuddy duddy", or "Scroogy", it is OK. :D

  2. I agree with re-gifting, how else can you get rid of that 'Fruit Cake' you get every year from that 'Crazy Aunt'. LOL

  3. I have won gifts at a part time position I had when I first married. It was items I had no use for, so I passed it on to someone that could use it. I had no use for garter belts and nylons lol.

  4. @ Ice Mann... Halloween is always a good time to 'Explore Your Feminine Side'. Garter belts, nylons and a nice teddy...LOL