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“As you get ready for the holidays remember-it’s the thought not the re-gifting that counts.” Maxine-the Queen of Crabbiness

Show of hands, please…Have you ever re-gifted something you received as a gift? I did it once and, not knowing any better, I broke one of the cardinal rules of re-gifting by bringing a gift to an event at which the original giver was present. No excuses-I simply forgot who originally gave it to me. I’ve been hesitant to do it again but I’m not opposed to the practice if it’s done right. If you have received something you won’t get any use from it’s completely OK to give it to someone who would enjoy having it. That said, there are a few common sense rules to follow when re-gifting.

  • Make sure the recipient can really use the gift. You probably don’t want to give that great kitchen gadget to your toast-burning friend. The restaurant gift certificate you won’t use might be more appropriate.
  • Remove the original gift tag and re-wrap the gift. Re-gifting is a great money saver but your recipient should never suspect they are receiving a re-gifted item.  Put a bit of effort into the gift by putting it in fresh wrapping with a nice, personalized gift tag.
  • Beware the expiration date. Unless it’s an ongoing gag (hello Fruitcake!), it’s probably not a great idea to re-gift food gifts. This is especially true if the gift is past its expiration date. I received expired candy as a gift once and it was beyond gross. It also left me with the feeling the gift giver didn’t put much thought into the gift.
  • Be wary of the circle. If there’s any possibility, however remote, that the original gift giver will become aware that you have re-gifted something they gave you, don’t do it. The short term money savings are not worth the long term hurt feelings.
  • If the package has been opened, do NOT re-gift it. A possible exception might be an unused gift card removed from the cardboard packaging it came in, but as a rule you should never give someone something that’s been opened. Re-gifted items should be brand new in their original packaging. How would you feel if you received something that’s obviously been opened.

Admittedly, these rules are no-brainers.  Done well, re-gifting is a great money saving practice. If it’s done badly, it can ruin a relationship with someone whose feelings you really didn’t mean to hurt. Have you ever knowingly received a re-gift? Have you ever re-gifted something? Have you ever witnessed a gift you gave being re-gifted? Please share your experience in the comments.

Be well and God Bless-until we meet again…

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