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Is it okay to regift Christmas presents?
You might not believe it, but that’s one of the most often-asked Christmas giving questions we receive.
You’re trying to save money and pay down debt, and you have this unopened vase from last Christmas sitting around your house collecting dust, so is it okay to dust that box off, wrap it up, and give it away to someone else?
Of course it is! But, wait a minute . . .
Before you go and rewrap that unopened vase, make sure you pay attention to our 10 Rules of Christmas Regifting.
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1. The gift should make sense.
While regifting is a great way to save money and declutter, don’t regift something for the sake of regifting it. In other words, it’s doubtful your brother, who is allergic to grass and lives in a sixth-story apartment, has any interest in gardening shears.
2. Take off the nametag!
Hey Joe, when you decide to regift your Elf DVD to Holly, make sure you take the old nametag off the gift bag. Imagine the fun at your Christmas party when Holly opens up the gift bag that says: “To: Joe. From: Grandma.”
3. Don’t regift gifts from meaningful people.
Speaking of grandma, she can’t get around much anymore, and she took the time to buy you that Elf DVD and a potted plant. She’s so sweet, and you love her so much. Imagine the smile on her face when she visits your house to see that potted plant on your front porch. But maybe we’re just too sentimental.
4. Don’t regift meaningful gifts.
This should go without saying, but we’re saying it anyway. Your mom gave you a nice set of china that has been passed down through your family. You don’t host dinner parties and don’t plan on buying a china cabinet. That’s fine. But, for the love, don’t regift that china unless you want your great grandmother to rise from her grave and haunt dinnertime for the rest of your life.
5. Avoid regifting within the same circle of friends (aka “The Seinfeld Scenario”).
This could get really embarrassing. Cindy gave Grace a new French press last year. Grace doesn’t drink fancy coffee, so she regifted the French press to Janet this year. Later, Janet invites Grace and Cindy over for a morning brunch, and Cindy notices the French press in the kitchen. “That’s just like the French press I gave you last Christmas, Grace!”
6. Beware of the regift that keeps on regiving.
Now we’re getting into some crazy regifting inception sort of situation. You don’t know where that gift has been, so you should always assume the gift you want to regift has already been regifted. That means, you’re always only one regift away from giving back to the original giver. When we tell you to give back this Christmas, that’s not exactly what we’re talking about.
7. Give sooner rather than later.
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You do realize that fruitcake, in theory, has an expiration date, right? But even if you’re not regifting an edible gift, remember that styles change and versions get updated and “it” gifts become irrelevant. No one wants your unopened VHS copy of Flashdance.
8. Don’t regift everything at once.
Look, if you’re following these guidelines, regifting here and there is fine. But let’s not pretend we’re the Oprah Winfrey of regifting: “Rejected Christmas presents for everyone!” With that strategy, you’re bound to regift and end up hurting someone’s feelings. Plus, that’s not functional or practical. . . . it’s just plain cheap.
9. Rewrap the gift.
Rewrap everything—the box, the gift paper, the packaging. You don’t know what lurks deep inside that box. It could be a personal note to you or a second smaller gift that you totally missed. Be thorough.
10. Be honest.
Maybe you screwed up. Maybe you accidentally gave back the French press to Grace, who gave it to you. Or maybe you forgot to take the nametag off the gift bag. If you find yourself in that situation, own up to it. You might be embarrassed at first, but be honest about why you regifted the gift and move on.
So, yes, it’s totally fine to regift this Christmas.
Just follow these 10 rules to have a merry regifting experience!
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