6 Rules for Regifting this Christmas
A few days ago I posted a very informal survey on Facebook about whether it was okay to regift or not. You know, you receive a nice pair of snowman oven mitts from Aunt Betsy but (1) you already have enough oven mitts (without snowmen on them) or (2) you just don’t like snowmen on your oven mitts. Maybe you’re afraid they’ll melt when those gloves go in the oven. So what do you do? You wait until next Christmas and give the oven mitts to your grandmother. It’s done all the time.
As I see it, regifting serves three purposes. One, it gets rid of unwanted stuff sitting around your house. Two, it saves you a few bucks. And three, it saves time and shopping hassle.
But is it okay to do? And if so, are there certain rules to follow when passing along an unwanted or unneeded gift?
Well, based on some of your responses and some of my own thoughts. Here are my 6 rules for regifting this Christmas season.
- Never use the gift before giving it away. The other day my daughter bought a plunger as a gag gift for a white elephant gift exchange she’s going to. “You know what the only thing worse than receiving a plunger for Christmas is?” I said. “Receiving a used plunger.”
- Don’t take the gift out of it’s packaging, even if you don’t intend to use it. This screams of yard sale item and calls into question whether you did, indeed, use it before regifting it.
- Never, ever . . . never give the gift to the person who gave it to you. Read this part aloud: THIS IS BAD!! You will hurt feelings and you will ax-murder any Christmas cheer in the room (even if you sing loudly for all to hear).
- Always re-wrap the gift. Do not attempt to tape the old wrapping paper back in place and pass it off as your own wrap job. If you do, you’re a blockhead. Plain and simple.
- Make sure the gift is something the recipient either wants or can use. You want the regifting cycle to stop, not to keep perpetuating.
- Check your heart. If you’re regifting just because you want to get rid of some old junk, don’t do it. It is the thought that counts.
Now, about the thought put into a gift. Look, if I can tell someone put some heart and thought into getting me a gift, regardless of whether I particularly care for it or can use it I’ll probably hang onto it. But if it’s obvious they put no thought into it, I have no hesitation about regifting it.
The heart of the matter is this. If you’re thinking about regifting an item this year, think about it. You’re not spending any money on the gift so at least take care to make sure you do it right.
What do you think? Any other rules you’d like to throw in here?