So you think regifting is totally tacky, uncalled-for and just plain thoughtless? Think again. In an unstable economy, there's never been a better time to revamp the trend. Society's attitude towards regifting is changing, making it a socially responsible and acceptable way to celebrate the ones we love. In fact, according to a Consumer Reports holiday poll, one in three people regift. So don't be shy.
Think outside the box and turn your office Christmas party into a regifting party. Coworkers will thank your for your ingenuity and chuckle as they search their closet for trash that may be someone else's treasure. Often, my family and I receive gifts we already own or that don't quite suit us. In an effort to declutter, save money and reduce holiday stress, I stash these offerings in a "go to" box for Christmas parties and birthdays.
While I've learned regifting is okay, it is not without etiquette. If you choose to regift this year, abandon the "anything goes" attitude and adopt guidelines that validate your whole-hearted intentions.
Make sure your gift is new. Please do not regift anything that is opened or, heaven forbid, used. A used waffle iron with pancake batter residue is an unacceptable gift. Worn clothes don't go over well either. Instead, update the wrapping and turn an unused item into a novelty.
Confirm the original giver and the new recipient are not acquaintances. Imagine this. Your best friend shows up to a social event with a regifted, one-of-a-kind scarf given to you by another attending friend. Well, the scarf wasn't exactly your color. Still, the giver notices immediately. What ensues from this holiday faux pas are hurt feelings. You're better off sending the scarf to your mother-in-law who lives out of state.
Don't regift anything handmade. First of all, this is downright rude. The gift-giver may have spent her free time crafting something unique for you. In this instance, suck it up and keep the gift. Additionally, if you can't find the gift in a store or online, then it becomes an obvious regift.
Is your gift appropriate for the recipient? Confirm your good intentions by putting some thought behind the gift. Don't hastily grab an undesirable present on your way out the door. Remember, if the gift truly is unattractive chances are the recipient will think so too. If time is of the essence give a gift card instead.
Save your regifting for parties and acquaintances. It's best to use your stash of unwanted gifts as sentiments for party hosts or coworkers. Only choose to regift your immediate family or closest friends if you know they'd absolutely love the item. Oftentimes I receive a gift that immediately makes me think of someone else. I take this as a sign that it was meant to be regifted. Presents having no obvious destiny are easy to pull from the shelf and dress up for a Secret Santa event.
Remember, regifting can be funny! Everyone likes a good joke, especially when financial times are tough. Regifting self-help books or last year's prank gifts keeps the inside-jokes flowing. Compassionate friends understand times are tight, so why not create a new tradition? Throwing a joke gift into the mix provides more holiday cheer than an expensive item and spices up a blah gathering.
This has been a guest post by Christina from Tetonia, ID
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