‘Tis the season for giving and inevitably – receiving as well. As someone who has the worst luck in office Christmas-party tradition of the ‘gift exchange’, let me tell you that I’ve been in that same position you’re probably in. That’s why you’re here, right? You Googled ‘Is regifting okay?’ or ‘How to regift’?
Every time I was made to participate in one back when I was studying and even working, I would normally get something that I already have or something that I won’t be using ever.
It has come to a point where I just politely decline to join when I get invited to do so in some parties. It’s not you, guys. It’s my horrible luck. Sometimes, I’d get something really pretty but it just doesn’t go with my aesthetic or that of my home’s.
It would just end up rotting away in a drawer somewhere. So, when a friend recently asked me whether regifting was okay, I knew I had to write about it here as well.
Let’s get this straight.
Socially, it is not okay. I would even advise against it if it’s a gift that was specifically handpicked for you. Try to find some other use for it. But – it is being done and there are ways to get around the rules.
I understand why some people would want to regift something they received. Personally, as someone who doesn’t like tucking stuff away to be forgotten, I’d rather have someone who would love what’s in the gift, actually use it, and give it a true home. This, after I’ve looked at every possible way I could keep the gift without being part of my normal amount of clutter.
So, without further ado, here are some practices to look into when regifting:
1. Keep it a secret
If you’re hell-bent on doing it and you think one of your friends would love it more than you do, then go ahead.
But under no circumstances should the one who gifted it to you find out. Give it to a friend who’s in another circle or better yet, you can donate it to institutions where people may need it more.
Also, if you’re regifting to a friend, it is better to use the regifted piece as an add-on to your original gift.
Chances are when you get the gift you don’t need, you’re already done with your Christmas shopping.
So, use it as a top-up to your already awesome present for your friend. Personally, this is the only way I’d do it because I love giving gifts to people I care for and would think of things that they would really like. A top-up just makes it more awesome.
I would also tell that friend I am gifting to that the top-up is something unused that I have extra at home. And, I’m giving it to him/her because I knew she would love it.
2. Re-wrap the whole thing
Check for notes, cards, and even dedications written on the present (especially on books).
If the item comes with its own packaging (e.g. a gadget that has its own box with compartments for its accessories), then keep it in there.
Re-wrap the gift using a fresh sheet of gift-wrapping paper. Add some ribbon and stick a new card.
Even if you are coming clean to that person you are gifting to, it’s still best to get rid of any trace that it was a re-gift. Chalk it up to decency.
3. Random presents are best
There are two kinds of gift exchange events at a party. One that tells you to just bring a gift that works on any gender with a value no lower than X. The other kind is the one where people pick a random name with the person’s wishes listed down as well.
The gifts from option one would be easier to regift. Mainly because the person who bought it probably won’t remember that you got it.
It’s probably random stuff for the home or face towels that they picked out in a hurry during that after work shopping trip.
If the person who picked your name at option two got you the wrong gift, say thank you. It is only polite to do so. Then, go do steps 1 and 2.
4. If you can wait, then do it
Have one dedicated drawer at home where you can keep stuff for regifting. Do not wrap them before storing because it is best that you see the actual items. Just label everything to make sure you know who they were originally from and from which party you got it.
This is to make sure there’s no mix-up and you don’t give it to the same person who gifted it to you. You can also add random stuff in this drawer that you wish to give away.
Unused impulse purchases that you regret, or if you’re a blogger, maybe some of the doubles PR companies throw your way.
Once an occasion is coming up, check your drawer if there is anything you can use as a gift (or a top-up to what you’re originally getting your friend).
Every year, make sure you clear out the drawer so you don’t accumulate too many gifts and they end up as excessive clutter. Pieces that were not used for regifting should be donated to charity.
5. Instead of Regifting, Can I Sell?
I wouldn’t personally go down that route. My heart won’t be able to bear making money off something that was gifted by a friend or relative.
But if you wish to do it, I would suggest having a garage sale for all the things you want to get rid off – preferably after the holidays. Then, just mix that gift in there.
There you have it. Some tips on how to keep regifting classy. If you’ve got tips on your own, I’d love to read them as well! Drop me a comment!
Also, I’d like to say that at the end of the day, it all comes down to what you want to do with the gift. This article isn’t here to judge or shame anyone. But rather, to give tips to people who are looking for ways around the rules. 🙂 Regift, donate, or use – up to you. Just make sure you don’t hurt anyone’s feelings because at the end of the day, it’s the thought and the relationship that counts.
Before I go, let me wish you a Merry Christmas! May you all have a wonderful time with your loved ones.
I’ll try to get one more post in before the New Year but just in case I fail on that promise, let me greet you now too – Happy New Year! May all your dreams and plans come true in 2018! 😉