Now that the holidays are behind you and you've had time to put the decorations away and evaluate your gifts, you might have received an item or two that you considered re-gifting. Are you feeling guilty about even thinking that way? Are you going on a guilt trip?
Have you ever thought about re-gifting something? Have you ever thought about it and decided that you couldn't do it because you felt it would be rude, tacky or downright wrong?
Re-gifting was once considered rude and unacceptable behavior. It was considered "poor etiquette".
In today's society, when we are trying to be green, economical and trying to reduce our clutter, we shop at thrift stores and recycle where we can. Re-gifting can fall into that realm of avoiding waste. However, there are rules that do apply. The good thing is, it is now acceptable behavior. It all depends on the situation.
Re-gifting can have a bad connotation because, sometimes the re-gifter is just thoughtlessly unloading something he or she doesn't want, to someone who doesn't want or need the item either. It all has to do with intent. Are you taking that particular person into consideration, thinking about their likes and dislikes, and hoping they will enjoy the item when giving them a gift?
However, re-gifting is perfectly fine when certain guidelines are applied and certain criteria are met. Do you know what those guidelines are?
Here is how to do it, and do it right:
1. The item must be brand-new. This doesn't mean "last year's brand-new". It should not have been opened previously, never played with, never worn, washed or even tried on. It should be in it's original, undamaged packaging. Don't give a gift to someone who might return it to the store and be told "We haven't carried this item in years"!
2. Be sure the person who gave you the gift doesn't know the person receiving the gift. Keep in mind, the more unusual the gift, the greater distance there should be between the giver and the re-giftee. The intent might be good but the outcome might not. You don't want to hurt anyone's feelings.
3. Don't confuse re-gifting something you recently received from a friend or family member which you know that individual would enjoy with something you've had in your closet for years or lying in the basement unused. If you have a piece of jewelry or a handmade quilt that you want to pass down to someone, just give it to them, but don't wrap it up and pass it off as a new purchase.
4. Don't re-gift just to get rid of something to avoid spending money. Remember, what you give as a gift is a reflection of you and your taste. You tend to give someone a gift to show that you care about them and have put thought and some effort into purchasing something for them you know they would enjoy. If your motive is simply to save money, that's for the wrong reason.
5. Don't re-gift something someone has made for you. That is insulting to that person who took the time to make it just for you.
Only you can decide whether to re-gift something you have received. The basis of good manners is consideration and respect for others. Consider the circumstances and, if you are in doubt, just don't do it. However, if it is done out of the goodness of your heart, go right ahead!
If you have received any gifts which you would like to re-gift to someone, follow the guidelines above and you will be reducing the "clutter" in your home by passing along a nice gift to someone else who will make use of it. (No guilt necessary!)