Skip the crowds at your local shopping centre? Check. Save some cash? Check. Get rid of things you’ll never use that are taking up space? Check. Insulting your Aunty Carol? Well…
Regifting is a great idea for the holiday season but it is an art that requires a delicate hand and military-like precision. This Christmas, if you’re thinking of freeing yourself from some of the more questionable gifts you’ve accumulated over the year by regifting them, keep these tips in mind so you don’t end up on someone’s naughty list.
- Ask yourself why you’re regifting. Is the pom pom covered poncho from that family friend hideous on you, or hideous on anyone? Only regift things that are actually a gift to the recipient and not a punishment.
- Give gifts, not hand-me-downs! Even if you only used the juicer once or twice before going back to Starbucks, that takes it out of the realm of regift and into hand-me-down. Which is fine at other times of the year, but not for Christmas. This goes for just about anything – especially clothes, appliances or things that are going to show wear easily.
- Rewrap your gift! Fresh wrapping paper or a nice gift bag can do wonders for your recycled gift. The trick is making it look new, so stick that bath set you never opened in a bag surrounded by some tasteful tissue paper and you’re good to go.
- Don’t regift anything personalised. There are some things that just can’t be regifted. Anything personalised, monogrammed or handmade is a big no-no, because not only is that a dead giveaway, but it can also lead to hurt feelings. Your mum knitted you those socks with the family crest emblazoned on them – are you really going to give them away?
- Keep track of who gives what. Like Santa, you need to keep a list and check it twice. And then a third time. You don’t want to regift something to a close friend of the original gifter and have either one find out. Your sister is definitely going to notice your best friend Ruth wearing the bright pink clogs she got you. And she’s not going to be happy.
- Don’t regift within family. Picture this: the whole clan is gathered around your nan’s dinner table. Your cousin Beth thanks you again for the ceramic pug statue (is she being sarcastic? You can’t tell). You tell her not to mention it (please, oh please, stop mentioning it). Aunty Carol wants to see it. You’re starting to sweat. Beth brings it out and a hush descends as Aunty Carol’s face falls. Now you’ve been disowned for regifting the ceramic pug Aunty Carol got you last year (Did Beth know? Was this her plan all along?). Check your list, and if it was a gift from a family member, regift it to someone who won’t be at Christmas dinner.
- So, regift at the office! It’s perfect. You barely know these people, even if you spend eight hours a day with them. They certainly don’t know Aunty Carol (you hope). But the rules apply here too. Just because it’s called Secret Santa doesn’t mean it’s an anonymous dumping ground for unwanted gifts. If Bert from accounts doesn’t seem like a, NSYNC kind of guy, then don’t regift him grandma’s latest effort. Get him some golf balls instead.
- Beware of children. They’re innocent, lovely angels, especially around Christmas when they know Santa is watching their every move. But kids can rat you out accidently by screaming “Didn’t Dad get you one like that!?” just as Uncle Tom unwraps his regifted Star Trek cookbook. Guess who’s getting coal this year, Billy.
Heed these tips and you’ll be re-gifting like a pro in no time. But when you unwrap an uncannily familiar lamp from your cousin Beth, just smile, don’t make a scene at the dinner table, and tell her you hope she likes the pug.
Have you ever unwrapped a regift on Christmas morning? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!