How To, Trends

The Do’s and Don’ts of Regifting

Hi, my name is Morgan and I’m a regifter.

The term regifting, or taking a gift that has been received and then giving to someone else in the guise of a new gift, was first coined by Jerry Seinfeld over a decade ago. The term has become so common that it is now included in the Merriam-Webster dictionary.

Once considered taboo, the popularity of regifting is on the rise. According to a survey conducted by Money Management International, more than half the adults questioned find regifting acceptable. The same study also found that less than 10% of respondents would be unhappy receiving a regift.

In fact, even the Emily Post Institute approves the practice the regifting, in certain circumstances. Peggy Post, the director of the Emily Post Institute, has confessed to her own regifting admitting, “I was given two copies of a book and I gave one of them to my mother-in-law.”

Finally, just in case you need a little more evidence to sway your opinion, December 18th has been deemed “National Regifting Day” in the United States and in Canada, eBay markets “National Re-Gifting Week” as December 26th – 30th.

See? I’m not the only one here.

As we enter the season of gift-giving, let us embrace the art of regifting, instead of casting a judgmental eye on this clandestine practice. Regifting is frugal, it’s a form of recycling, and when done right, it is actually quite thoughtful.

If you plan on joining me in the darkside this holiday season, here are a few regifting guidelines you will want to follow:

The Do’s of Regifting:

-Only regift if the item is the perfect fit for its new recipient.

-Keep a stash of items to regift for when the perfect occasion arises.

-Use sticky notes to keep track of who originally gave you the gift.

-Rewrap items so they look fresh and presentable. Don’t forget to include a new card, too.

-Keep your regifting a secret unless it’s part of the occasion, like a White Elephant party. No one really wants to know that the item they just received is a regift. Some things are better left unsaid.

-See regifting as an opportunity to start an ongoing prank. I know a family who regifts the same terrible gift every year to a different family member. It’s made for quite the holiday tradition.

-Regift to charity. Gifts can go to the less fortunate or be used in auctions that benefit the organization. Just make sure the items are in excellent condition.

The Don’ts of Regifting:

-Give a used gift. It must be in its new and original condition.

-Give to the original gift giver (duh).

-Regift to a friend or family member of the original gift giver.

-Regift randomly. Regifting is not about giving just for the sake of gifting. It must be thoughtful.

-Give partially used gift cards.

-Regift promotional items or swag.

-Feel guilty. If the intention is good and the item is a perfect match for the new recipient, then there should be nothing to feel bad about.

How about the rest of you? What is your policy on regifting?

Morgan is a freelance writer and blogger living in Southern California with her two daughters and flock of backyard chickens. You can read more of her at The Little Hen House.