Five Important Rules for Regifting Things this Christmas

Regifting comes with an undeserved stigma. Many see it as “cheap” or thoughtless when in reality, it’s quite the opposite. Giving a gift you’ve received to someone who will enjoy it more should be seen as thoughtful, frugal, and not as a judgment toward the original gift giver.

People regift presents for various reasons, including when they’re trying to get their spending under control. If that’s the case for you, consider using a debt repayment strategy to help reset your spending habits and become debt-free. Compare the avalanche vs snowball method to see which would work best for you. Other reasons you may choose to regift are if you have someone in mind who could use the gift better than you or if you’re trying to reduce your clutter and live a more minimalistic lifestyle.

No matter your reasons, it’s important to repurpose gifts thoughtfully. If you’re unsure what that means or where to start, here are five rules to follow that ensure everyone’s happy this year.

1. Regift with care

If you’re passing a gift onto someone else, then you must take the time to give the present a refresh. Rewrap it with new wrapping paper or put it in a new gift bag with a new gift tag. Simply retaping the original wrapping will look lazy and clearly show this is a regift. Also, be sure to inspect the gift before re-wrapping and remove all original gift tags.

2. Make sure it’s appropriate for your giftee

If you’re concerned that you’ll get caught regifting, take time to strategize who would most appreciate the gift. No one wants a gift that’s given without consideration of whether or not the recipient will actually want it. Instead of just passing your unwanted gifts onto the next person, think about who would truly enjoy a present like this and give it freely as if you were the one who purchased it specifically for them.

3. Remember who originally gave you the gift

The biggest faux pas that comes with regifting is accidentally giving it back to the person who originally gifted it to you. If you’re worried you could forget, put a Post-It note on the gift that reminds you where it came from and remove it before wrapping it for the new recipient. That way, if you end up holding onto this item for a few years, you won’t end up in an awkward regifting situation.

4. Keep family heirlooms in the family

Family heirlooms have many sentimentalities attached to them and shouldn’t be regifted outside the family if possible. While your great aunt’s collection of cat portraits that ended up being given to you may not be your thing, it might mean something to a cousin or sibling.

5. Don’t throw it out if you can’t regift it

If there’s no place for your unwanted gift to go, don’t just toss it in the trash. Donate it to your local thrift store, homeless shelter, women’s shelter, or other non-profit that could use your gift or use it as a raffle item if it’s valuable. Not only will you be doing something good for your community, but you’ll also reduce the amount of waste ending up in a landfill or the ocean.

The bottom line

Regifting doesn’t need to feel wrong or shameful; it can actually be very frugal! If you’re considering giving someone a gift you’ve received who might enjoy it more than you, use these five rules to ensure that this well-intentioned present ends up right where it’s supposed to be.

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