Mastering the Art of Regifting

I am a regifter of epic proportions. I also come from a regifting family, so there was no shame or stigma attached to it. People always talk about regifting like it is a dirty little secret, I say it is a fundamental part of the reduce-recycle-reuse chain. I have read article after article about regifting and they always say the same thing: the first rule of regifting is not getting caught. This is simple untrue. While not getting caught makes regifting easier, it should not be the first rule. The number one rule? Regift thoughtfully. Here are my rules of regifting:

1. Regift thoughtfully. It is perfectly acceptable to give some one a gift you received if you were going to buy them something similar, if it something they would like. A great example of excellent regifting is food, especially office or secret santa gifts. Maybe you are a vegetarian who was gifted a Hickory Farms gift set. You probably don’t want that summer sausage; pass it along to someone who would love it.

2. Regift outside of the sphere in which the gift was given. This is important if you are concerned about offending the giver or recipient. My sister used to be an elementary school teacher and received a lot of holiday themed christmas gifts, santa candles and the like. My sister is not a santa candle type of person. You know who was? My mother. Sister used to regift the nicest of the stuff to my mom and my mom loved it. Loved. Also, I used to work with candle-gifters. I am not so much a candle person, but my in-laws are. Again, regifting outside the sphere. I would never have regifted a gift from co-worker to co-worker.

3. Let time pass. This works for the non-perishable gifts. Obviously. I keep gifts I don’t like or can’t use in a box in the closet. Candles, mugs costume jewelry and the like. I use it as a stash for emergency presents. Need a hostess gift or a last minute friend’s birthday? Go to the box.

4. Make sure it is not personalized. Look in the book and make sure it is not inscribed. Remove gift tags.

5. Make it a combo. Making a gift basket? Include both new and regifted items. Regifting a candle? Buy a holder. Regifting a wallet? Include a gift card.

6. Be honest and confident if called out. Janet gave me this and I thought you would love this so much more that I could, is fair. What are they going to say, no, the thought wasn’t enough, buy me something?

7. Use it for a white elephant party. Again, outside the sphere in which it was given.

8. Donate. If you truly can’t use it or hate it and you can’t think of anyone who could use it, try and find a home for it. Especially, before the holidays. Food items could go to a food pantry. Make-up, lotions, perfumes and such could go to a women or teen shelter. Some animal shelters take pet toy donations. Toys could go to Toys-for-Tots or similar programs. Or just give it to a thrift store, but there is no point to it gathering dust. I firmly believe in giving things a better home. That is why I regift.

Still feeling guilty about it? Here’s the thing. regifting is better than throwing it away. If the person would genuiunely like it, I see no harm. I wouldn’t regift my sister a candle I got from work because she hates them. Would I regift her a Jamba Juice giftcard? I have. And she reads this blog (Hi Sis!) so I obviously don’t care. Also, I assume that some of my gifts to people have been regifted through the years. They can’t all be winners.

A note on giftcards. Personally, I find them a bit impersonal for close friend/family giving, but I LOVE the rise of the gift card in the work place. My candle problem significantly went down the last few years at my job. And it was replaced by Starbucks giftcards, which is a win in my book. However, if buying giftcards from one of those kiosks in the grocery store, make sure it is for something that exists locally. One year I got a giftcard to a movie theater chain and the closest one was well over an hour away. And this was before the rise of the online giftcard swapping sites.

Happy regifting! Be proud, be confident. Don’t keep crap you don’t want.

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5 Responses to “Mastering the Art of Regifting”

  1. Cole says:

    Mommy has a gift closet where she adds things she intends to regift as well as items she buys as presents. She *hates* crowds so she tends to buy things year-round and then take stock in the early fall to see what she needs to buy. We agree with all your rules, but feel no guilt with re-gifting – things that may not be right for us are perfect for someone else!


  2. Natalie says:

    I love love love this! I am a firm believer in regifting, but always feel so badly about it. I always try to adhere to your rules, and I love the idea of a gift box for last-minute gift ideas. One day when my home is organized I plan on employing this. I hate having to go out and find “the perfect gift” for someone when crunched for time. I always seem to find things I know XYZ will like at random times. I need to start buying it when I see it, or in the very least, making a note of it.


  3. Slee says:

    this. exactly this.
    Also- got a skirt you hate hate hate but the fabric is made of win? repurpose it into a doll to give a kid, just not the kid of the person who gave you the awful skirt, lol. (can you see that i have a plan in mind for a specific gift?)


  4. TMae says:

    Hear, hear!

    ‘Cuz really, how many candles can one person use?


  5. […] at BabyBabyLemon hit the nail on the head with her post on the subject of regifting, so I’m not going to talk about THAT, and please for the love of everything, READ THAT POST […]

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