The Art of Regifting

The Art of Regifting

Get to know the rules of engagement when regifting this holiday.


Your mom told you not to do it. But when your son kept receiving pricey dark chocolate truffles (that he finds gross) from Great Aunt Nancy year after year, you realized that she is under the impression that he loves them. And she’s never going to stop.

That’s when you contemplated a better home for those truffles – a home where someone would savor each and every bite. If they were milk chocolate, sure, you’d just eat them. But dark chocolate infused with lavender is a little out of your culinary comfort zone. So it had to happen: You had to regift.

Sound familiar?

Regifting is a real practice these days. Some of us even have entire closets dedicated to future regifts. Maybe you’ve even been the recipient of a regifted present, and you never even knew. Chances are the gift giver followed some tried-and-true rules before passing along the unwanted treasure. And so should you.

Rule #1: Never regift an item you receive from a member of your A-team.
If your husband, partner, sister or best friend gave it to you, it’s absolutely off limits. Why? Because they will know.

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Rule #2: Don’t gift something to someone who knows the original gifter.
Our biggest advice: Use your noggin. How embarrassing when your friend Mary sees your friend Ann wearing that lilac scarf she got you. Awkward. Then you’re piling lie upon lie and it’s going to get tricky. Better to simply heed the rule. Potential conflicts –avoided.

Rule #3: If you think you’re regifting to the gift’s ideal home, give it new look with fresh wrapping and a sweet card.
After you’ve looked for all traces of the regift – leftover wrapping paper, tape or any other remnants – give this special gem a face-lift of sorts. It’s the least that you can do, right? So go all out on the wrapping and include a bow. Then write a nice note in the card so you’ve put in some work.

Rule #4: If you truly dislike a gift and can’t think of a new home that fits, donate.
Don’t leave the gift alone and stranded for too long. Take the time to find it a new home (and we’re sorry, your basement or attic doesn’t count). Ask the kids to help you pick out a charity or organization that would benefit most from the contribution. Then you’ve done some serious good and you’re setting a good example. Bravo.

Rule #5: If you (or your child) think you’ve received a regift, be gracious. Roll with it and be grateful.
No judgment here. Keep in mind that you’ve been in that position. Maybe the giver thinks that you are the ideal recipient of that kitschy fox mug? Stay cool, calm and content. Remember: This may be an opportunity to re-regift.

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