Regifting. The magical option that often saves us during our holiday scramble. The ethics are always highly debated, but when is it really okay to regift?
The third Thursday of December is National regifting Day, and if you’re looking to regift this holiday season, you’re going to have to follow some guidelines.
“regifting is certainly acceptable if you use your best judgment and gift with integrity,” said Diane Gottsman, an etiquette expert, author, and owner of the Protocol School of Texas. “regifting is only frowned upon when it’s done improperly.”
One thing you should always avoid is regifting amongst the same circle of friends. By doing this, you won’t ever have to worry about the original giver finding out you gave away his present.
“Giving to someone who lives in another city or state is the best way to play it safe,” said Gottsman. “The last thing you want is someone receiving something with a friend’s name on it.”
Always be careful with what you’re giving away. If the item was something very important to the person who gave it to you then keeping it would avoid hurt feelings. You can put the gift in a hidden spot, and only bring it out when they’re around.
Sometimes the best thing to do is offer full-disclosure to the receiver. If your gift is good enough, and you’re close enough to the person, you can tell them that the gift isn’t a new gift. No one ever said a good gift has to be a new gift.
“A gift you once received might not be your taste, and that’s fine,” said Gottsman. “You could tell your friend, ‘would you like this purse? It’s a bit large for me to carry around but I know you love larger bags.’”
Be considerate when wrapping your regifted item. Make it look pretty, use nice wrapping paper, and get a card that suits them. You should also keep your gifts in the original box because the receiver may want to return it for another size.
Lastly, and most importantly, never regift an undesirable item. Don’t give a gift just because you think you should. Give a gift that you think the receiver deserves.
“regifting is not old junk,” said Gottsman. “You should regift when you have quality items and limited funds. We are all budget conscious, ecologically conscious, and community minded. If your gift is still good, but not gift-worthy, then donate it.”