I’m reissuing a post I wrote in May due to the nature of the season.  With all of our lives filled with busyness and last-minute reminders of forgotten gifts, take a moment to pause and read (or re-read) etiquette guidelines for re-gifting.  I don’t know about you but as the days creep closer to Christmas and panic begins to set in, I find I must resist the temptation to wrap Grandma’s crocheted plant holder lovingly given to me in 1979. 

Happy Holidays everyone!

Re-Gifting.  This is a relatively new term for off-loading your loot to another person all under the guise of an original gift.  There are many justifiable reasons:  You want to be “green” and recycle, you don’t have time to shop, you need to make room for the loot you like or you are broke.  I appreciate thriftiness in any form but it can take a sudden turn to Tackyville.  Whatever the reason, there are hard and fast rules that will prevent a major peccadillo.

♥ Re-gift with thought and care.  The gift should be perfectly suited for the recipient.  If perfectly suited, proceed to rule #2.

♥ The gift must be new and in the original packaging.  Don’ t wrap a Walmart item in a Cartier box.  Save your donor the time and possible flush of embarrassment if they attempt a return.  With that stated, make sure the store of origin is still in business.

♥ Do not re-gift to your immediate social set.  Think six degrees of separation here.  Family and close friends are too close to the edge of an awkward scenario.

♥ Make sure the item is currently “in style”.

♥ If you must re-gift, do it soon after receiving it.  Unless you maintain a meticulous spreadsheet, the odds increase that you will forget who gave it to you originally.  I believe this is known as the Boomerang Effect.  The horror of re-gifting to the person who gave it to you would be hard to live down!

♥ If it was handmade, keep it!  This indicates significant thought and time went into pleasing you.  Somehow, this just seems wrong.

NEVER Give the Following…

Partially used gift cards


Weird things


Free stuff from last week’s business convention

Your monogrammed anything

So… whatever are you going to do with that beautiful polyester sweatshirt with the puffy painted puppies?  You could sell it on eBay or Craigslist.  You can donate it to charity.  You can use it as a drop cloth when you re-paint your bedroom.  You cannot treat your peeps to hand-me-downs.

We are six months from the holiday season.  This gives you plenty of time to collect, evaluate and execute with style.  I bet you’re asking yourself if I’ve ever re-gifted.  Actually, I have not.  It’s not because I’m not in favor of saving the landfills or a few bucks.  I think it’s because I receive really cool stuff I just can’t let go.  Like this for example…

Remember me?