Regifting in some ways does make sense; it saves a little money and gets rid of new but unwanted items that are laying around collecting dust. Experts tell us that it's perfectly okay to regift as long as you follow a few basic rules. And here they are.
1. The gift needs to make sense. You wouldn't regift your mother-in-law with that holiday necktie you received at the office Christmas swap, now would you? We all want to save money and declutter our homes, BUT...don’t regift something for the sake of regifting it. If you didn’t like the gift, there’s a chance the new recipient won’t like it either. Not only should make sure the gift is appropriate for the person you're giving it to, but it is something that they will like. If you're not sure, it's better to donate the gift to charity. As a general rule of thumb, only regift an item if it’s something you would have gone to the store and purchased for that person.
2. Remember to take off the gift tag! This sounds like something we'd all do without being told, but you'd be surprised how often folks regift items that still have the original tag on it. It's hurtful for the recipient and embarrassing for the regifter.
3. Don't regift gifts you've received from meaningful people. We've all received gifts from dear friends and loved family members that aren't, well, really our style or taste. Those are the items that, I'm afraid to say, you're stuck with. Gift items from the people we care about should never, ever be regifted! They took the time to pick it out so we have to keep it and try to enjoy it, even if it's only enjoying the thought that they gave you a gift.
4. Don't regift family gifts. These gifts are different than the gifts in #3. Family gifts are heirloom gifts. Perhaps your mom has given you an ornate heirloom brooch that was given to her by her grandmother. You know darn good and well you'll never wear it. But you might have a friend who'd love to own it...even be proud to wear it. And while that may be the case, you must not regift it. Go thrift store shopping with your friend and keep your mom's brooch in your jewelry box where it belongs.
5. Avoid regifting within the same circle of friends. People talk. Some of us frogs do too. It's easy, when you regift within your circle of friends, to have both the original giver and the new recipient find out. Again, embarrassing and hurtful to everyone. So be sure, when you do regift, that the gift in question is coming from someone outside your immediate circle of friends and family.
6. Beware of the regift that keeps on giving. Some folks actually have a "regift closet" where they store all their unwanted gift items that will, eventually, be regifted to somebody else. A problem can arise when a gift item has been in the closet for too long; you forget who gave it to and when. What happens then? Regifters often and inadvertently give the item back to the original giver. Ooops! It's best to assume you're one regift away from giving it back to its original giver.
7. Give sooner rather than later. In theory, anyway, fruitcake has an expiration date. But even when you're not regifting food items, it's smart to remember that trends come and go. What might be a "must-have" Christmas item this year, won't be all that hot in a year or two or three. It's best to pass that trendy item along sooner, rather than later. Nothing says it's a regift better than receiving an item that was popular several years ago or, in some cases, decades ago. OUCH!
8. Regift in moderation. If you follow these rules and regift on occasion, that's fine. But don't try to become the regift king or queen. "With that strategy, you’re bound to regift the wrong item and end up hurting someone’s feelings. Plus, you could come across as just being plain cheap."
9. Always rewrap the gift. Rewrap everything...the box, the wrapping paper, even the inner packaging. Why? because you never know what might lurk further down inside the box....a bug, perhaps, or maybe a person note that that was tucked inside that you missed. Additionally, rewrapping makes the gift feel new and fresh; it offers a personal touch, as well. And finally,
10. Be honest. If you do make a mistake when regifting...giving a gift back to the original giver or forgetting to take the old gift tag off, own up to it. Sure, it'll be embarrassing for a little while but be honest about why you regifted the item and move on.
Some gifts are perfect for regifting while others are inappropriate to regift. before you decide to pass along your unwanted items, be sure to give it some careful thought. Regifts the right items can make everyone happy. Regifting the wrong items, not so much!
Please come back tomorrow for my final Christmas week blog. I'll be taking a look at holiday traditions around the world. Until then, I wish you