December 15th, 2007

Regifting Etiquette – The Etiquette of Recycling Horrible Holiday Gifts

by Jacqueline Whitmore

If you’ve ever participated in a holiday gift exchange, you know that you’re likely to receive a gift you don’t want and will never use. Though the idea of regifting seems cheap or even taboo to some folks, most have come to accept it. According to a Harris poll, 52 percent of adults said that they either had regifted or would regift in the future. Seventy-eight percent said regifting is acceptable some or most of the time. Is it appropriate to re-wrap an unwanted gift and present it to a friend or relative as if it were new? The answer is “yes,” as long as you keep these rules in mind.

1. Make sure the gift is in good condition. Give the gift in its original box. Be sure not to tamper with, open or use the gift and make sure the seals are intact.

2. Regift in different social circles. Make sure the person receiving the gift doesn’t know the person who originally gave you the gift. To avoid this mishap, label any gifts you don’t intent to keep by jotting down when it was received and who gave it to you.

3. The gift should be a good match. Before giving a recycled gift, ask yourself if the receiver will enjoy, appreciate and use the gift. If you’re not sure, don’t give it to them.

4. Remove the evidence. Before you regift, remove the original card that may be tucked inside the gift.

5. Retire unwanted gifts. Instead of regifting items that you’ll never use like that old bottle of cologne, canned ham, stale fruitcake, or itchy sweater, give the gift to charity or place it in the waste basket so you and others will never have to see it again.

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One Response to “Regifting Etiquette – The Etiquette of Recycling Horrible Holiday Gifts”

  1. Tangerine on January 1st, 2012 11:28 pm

    My mother regifts books that she has read. One book that she gave to me was several years old; the spine was creased; the pages were yellowed and falling out. This year she gave me another book that I saw her reading months ago. Its pages were yellowed and dog eared. She accused me of lying. By the way, she
    is neither cash strapped nor senile. By the way, the book she gave my husband was brand new and unread. I gently asked her to not send me her used books, and she became angry. She said that she cannot resist reading them first. However did say that she wouldn’t “do this to a stranger”. Now we are not talking.

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