Rules of Regifting

by erin thursby
There’s something in the back of your closet. It’s been there since last year, ever since you opened it at Christmas and stifled a scream of horror. But it’s no use hurting your Aunt Ida’s feelings over a Christmas gift.
Some of the gifts you get are wrong for you but perfect for someone else. That’s where regifting comes in. But there are rules you must follow to avoid a social faux pas.
Remember who the gift was from. There are horror stories of people regifting the item to the person who gave it to them in the first place. I’m not suggesting a flow chart to keep track of things, but know for certain who that gift was from. Do not give that gift to anyone in that circle of friends and family. If it came from your Aunt, give it your friend who lives in another state and will never talk to your Aunt.
Never talk about gifts you loathe. To anyone. Because you might be giving them that very same gift, and they don’t need to know that it was yours first.
Destroy the evidence. Make sure all scraps of the previous wrapping job are banished from the package before you re-wrap. Look for any cards to you that the previous givers may have slipped into the gift.
Look at the brand. Did it tank two, three or even 10 years ago? If it did, the person who’s getting it is going to know about your regifting scheme-even if the gift is really nice.
Do not use the item before regifting it. Because there just isn’t anything like getting a mixer that’s got just a little dried batter in the bottom.
Look at the item you have and think of the person you’re giving it to. Will they be happy to get this gift? Or will their reaction be the same as yours? It’s kind of like shopping in your closet. If you would have passed it up as a gift for that person in the store, it might be better to donate it or find a better recipient.
Or just tell the truth. If it’s an obvious regift, go ahead and come clean-but also make sure you got them something else.

what you’re stuck with
Anything made especially for you. If it’s monogrammed with your initials (literally or figuratively) or handmade, don’t regift.
Things that were free in the first place. Yep. People actually regift the free swag they get at conventions or as a free gift with their purchase at the Lancome counter. Here’s the thing: You’re Not Fooling Anyone.
The used. No, not the band. A gift that shows ANY wear and tear should be crossed off the regift list.
Gift cards. Seriously. Buying gift card shows little thought. It’s an easy fix. So if you regift a gift card given to you, it’s going to be obvious and crass. The expiration date will give you away, and if you’ve used even part of it, that will give you away as well.
While Christmas remains the unofficial regifting day, December 18, 2008 has actually been named National Regifting Day by Money Management International. So if you want to clean out your closet but you cringe at the idea of regifting something for Christmas, wish someone a Happy Regifting Day on the Thursday before Christmas.