Guide to Regifting: Etiquette Tips to Avoid Embarrassment

Don't shy away from regifting this holiday season with etiquette tips on doing it right!

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Is there anything wrong with regifting? The reaction to this question is mixed. There are those who believe it’s an absolute no-no and then others who believe it’s a way to help reduce, reuse, and recycle. There’s even a day in honor of it called National Regifting Day, which is every third Thursday of December – December 18th this year!

The fact is we’ve all been through the situation where we’re given a perfectly nice gift, but it’s not something fitting or something we can make use of. So why not give the gift a new owner who can appreciate it?

Also, for those who are on a tight budget, regifting may be a solution to help ease financial strain during the holiday season.

But before you go ahead and regift this holiday season, there are some etiquette tips to help ensure you don’t end up embarrassing yourself or others.

Regifting Etiquette Tips

  • Don’t do it if there’s a good chance the original gift giver or receiver will find out.
    If Aunt Mary gave you the scarf last holiday season, don’t regift it to Aunt Jane who was at the holiday party and present during the opening of gifts. She may very well remember that gift and tell Aunt Mary. Even if she doesn’t remember, can you imagine Aunt Mary seeing Aunt Jane wearing the very scarf she gave you later on? Feelings will be hurt and it’ll leave you quite embarrassed.

  • Don’t regift for the sake of getting rid of it.
    Make sure the receiver will genuinely like the gift before deciding to regift. Wine is one of the best regiftable items. If you aren’t into wine, but you know your coworker is, there’s no harm done with regifting here. Just make sure it’s in new condition and you may even place it in a classy, new wine holder bag.

  • Clearly look over the gift for any personalization or notes.
    Make sure the receiver doesn’t know you are regifting. One surefire way they will know is if the gift is personalized with your name on it or if the gift tag is already written out to you. Double check the gift for any hidden notes and indication that the gift was originally given to you and remove it.

  • Regift only non-perishable items.
    Food like chocolate and cookies get old and stale over time, so only regift non-perishable items. If you are going to regift perishable items, always check that it has not expired.

The point of National Regifting Day is to reduce, reuse, and recycle, so if regifting is just not your thing and you consider it tacky, there’s always the option to donate to a charity who can benefit from it.

Photo by Christy Thompson, via Free Images.