The holidays are a time for giving, and what could be more fun than giving gifts to the people we love? But, it’s also a time when we receive gifts, and sometimes we receive presents that we don’t really want or need.
This can be especially difficult if you’re trying your best to have a minimalist Christmas and not accumulate clutter.
So, what can you do with those unwanted gifts? One option is to regift them! But before you start handing out your unwanted presents, you should make sure to follow some simple rules for regifting Christmas gifts.
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- What does it mean to regift
- Is regifting acceptable
- Why would you regift
- Rules for regifting Christmas gifts
- 1. Only regift items that are in good condition
- 2. Make sure the item is appropriate for the person you're gifting it to
- 3. Don't regift something that has your name on it
- 4. Never regift within circles
- 5. Keep track of what you've regifted and who you've given it to
- 6. Don't regift food items or perishable goods
- 7. Don't give away a gift that is still wrapped
- 8. Don't gift something that's pre-used
- 9. Be mindful not to hurt feelings
- Final thoughts on regifting Christmas gifts
What does it mean to regift
Regifting means giving someone else a present that someone has given or bought for us in the past which we don’t want or need anymore. In other words, regifting is when we get rid of our old gift by passing it on to another person who might appreciate it more.
In order to regift a present, it’s important to make sure that the gift is from someone else. It can really be a tricky situation if you end up regifting a present to the original gift giver!
Is regifting acceptable
The short answer is yes, regifting is a common and generally accepted practice that many people participate in. However, people often wonder if they should tell the recipient of their regifted present that it was a regift.
There’s no right answer to this question and many people choose to simply not mention anything about it. If you do decide to tell the person though, I suggest telling them at another time or in another way than when they open their present.
There are some common misconceptions about the process of regifting. Some people think that it’s okay to regift almost any present, while others think that there are certain rules you should follow when engaging in this activity.
Why would you regift
There are all sorts of different reasons why someone might choose to regift. One reason is that when someone gives us a present, we may not need or want it but don’t know how to say no. We can regift it with the hope that it ends up with someone who will actually enjoy it.
Another reason for regifting is that you could already have that very item. Sometimes when you see the joy on the original giver’s face, it’s difficult to tell them that you already have this item. So you tell them you love it (which of course is true, that’s why you already own it!) and you regift at a later stage.
A present gifted to you may simply not be your style. Maybe you would never imagine buying something so eclectic and weird, so you pass it along to someone else who you know will appreciate it more.
If you were to keep every gift you have ever received, even when you don’t necessarily like the gift or need it, you would accumulate a lot of clutter. Regifting eliminates the clutter of gifts in the home. It also saves you money on having to buy new gifts for people.
Rules for regifting Christmas gifts
Now, I’m no etiquette expert, but there are some simple rules for regifting holiday gifts that seem to have stood the test of time.
Here are nine simple rules I recommend you follow when you’re thinking about regifting this holiday season, or anytime during the year.
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1. Only regift items that are in good condition
It probably goes without saying, but you should never regift something that is in bad condition. Just as you wouldn’t like to receive a gift that is in bad condition, when regifting the item should be in good condition. Wrap it up and add a gift tag and it will be just like any other gift.
2. Make sure the item is appropriate for the person you’re gifting it to
You want to make sure that the present will be appreciated by the person you’re regifting it to. It’s not appropriate, for example, to regift your grandmother with an iTunes voucher if she has no clue what iTunes is.
Just as you do when purchasing gifts for others, be mindful of who the best recipient would be for this item. If you truly have nobody in mind for this gift, then it may be time to donate it to charity.
3. Don’t regift something that has your name on it
Personalised items are tricky when it comes to regifting. Of course, if you happen to have a friend with the same name as you who you know would love this item, then by all means go ahead and regift to them. As you can imagine, this never happens for me…
When it comes to personalised gifts, you should never regift to someone who the personalisation doesn’t work for. They will instantly know it was a regift and that there was no sentiment to the gift giving.
4. Never regift within circles
What does this mean? Well let’s say a close family member gave you a book for Christmas, you should never regift this item to another close family member. Otherwise, you might end up offending the original gift giver if they were to spot it.
Instead, you could give this book to someone in your friend circle or work colleague circle instead.
5. Keep track of what you’ve regifted and who you’ve given it to
Whenever you receive a gift, you instantly know whether it’s something you want to keep or not. If you decide this will be something you want to regift, make sure to put a sticky note on top of the item with the name of the person who gifted it to you and who you’re going to regift it to.
This is important so that:
a) you don’t regift it back to the person who gave it to you; and
b) you know who you already have gifts for, so you don’t end up buying unnecessary gifts
6. Don’t regift food items or perishable goods
You don’t want to regift something that has a limited expiry date. It’s not going to be a good look if you regive the item and it expires shortly afterwards, or worse still has already expired.
7. Don’t give away a gift that is still wrapped
Have you ever received gifts and you find a gift card once you unwrap the paper? Well this would be mighty embarrassing if the person you regift to finds a gift card saying ‘Dear Anna, I hope you love this gift. Love from Sandra” (you’re Anna in this scenario).
Make sure you unwrap all gifts you receive (even if you know what the item is), remove all gift tags and rewrap using your own wrapping paper.
8. Don’t gift something that’s pre-used
If you want to get rid of something you’ve used before and no longer need, ask your friend if they’d like it before you get rid of it. This is different to regifting.
When you give someone a gift, there is the expectation that it should be unused. Whatever you’re regifting should be brand new and in its original packaging. Remember, it’s still a gift you’re giving.
9. Be mindful not to hurt feelings
While regifting is wholly acceptable, it’s still important to respect others’ feelings. You don’t need to tell the original gifter straight away when they hand you the gift that you don’t like it and you’re going to give it away.
Some people go so far as to display the item in their living room for a short period of time so that the original gifter can see it, before then regifting it. However, this only works for things that don’t come in packaging and you need to make sure it doesn’t get dirty or worn in the meantime.
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Final thoughts on regifting Christmas gifts
Remember that regifting is a thoughtful gesture of sharing the joy of someone else’s gift with another person. If you find you don’t want or need this gift, consider who would appreciate the present more than anyone else and go ahead.
Be sure to stick to the above simple rules for regifting Christmas gifts and you’ll be all good!
Personally, I think there is enough waste in the world without adding to it, so regifting items we don’t want to keep is the perfect solution.
What’s your stance on regifting gifts? Do you think it’s acceptable?