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Is it OK to Regift your Christmas presents?

Dec 11, 2015

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The thought of regifting your Christmas presents is a contentious issue. Some people wholeheartedly agree with regifting, while others think it cheap and inconsiderate. Wherever you stand on the regifting front, there is suggested etiquette and best practice. 

So, what should you do if that present Aunt Alice gave you is only going to gather dust in the cupboard? And if you choose to regift, what should you know?

1. Appropriateness

 The important thing to remember about regifting is that you should still care about the quality of the present and who receives it – you still want to make sure the present will actually be liked and used by the receiver.  You may not like the tea pot that you were given, but you may have a friend who collects them and would love it.

2. New only                               

If you have used your new coffee machine a few times and decided it’s not for you, then it’s no longer considered acceptable to regift. Anything you receive and wish to pass on to someone else as a present should still be brand new – save the second hand giveaways for extra surprises throughout the year.

3. Keep track of presents

It’s important to make sure you know who gave you what. You don’t want regift a present back to the person who gave it to you. You also don’t want to upset close circles of family and friends. By ensuring you know where your presents come from, you can reduce the risk of upsetting any family and friends by regifting presents in close-knit circles.

4. Re-wrap!

By putting fresh wrapping paper on the gift, you avoid it looking regifted with damage from label removal and wrinkles from lying in your cupboard. Re-wrap in fresh paper and/or a new gift bag to make it look new.  This will also reduce any risk of you missing any messages written on the present -To Mary, love Aunt Alice.

5. Do not re-gift...

There are certain things which are considered unsuitable for regifting. These include:

  • Food (it could go stale and out of date)
  • Handmade items (where someone has spent hours making it especially for you)
  • Promotional items (if you were given it for free, it’s considered bad taste to give as a paid-for present)

The pros and cons of regifting

If you are still considering whether or not to regift any presents after Christmas then a quick look at the pros and cons may help you decide.

Pros:

  • Regifting unwanted items can help de-clutter your home
  • Regifting can help you save money, which can be handy following the expense of Christmas
  • Regifting allows someone to enjoy and get use out of something that may otherwise gather dust or get put in the bin

Cons:

  • If someone finds out you regifted their present, you could upset them and bruise a friendship/relationship
  • If the receiver doesn’t like it and wants to return it to the shop, you won’t have any receipt to give him/her (and may not know where it was from either)

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