The Gift that Keeps on Giving
Regift. Is it a dirty little secret? Or is it coming to be an acceptable practice?

My WEBSTER'S NEW WORLD DICTIONARY, Third College Edition, copyright 1988, doesn't even list the word. Yet it came right up when I typed it into

Main Entry: regift
Part of Speech: v
Definition: to give an unwanted gift to someone else; to give as a gift something one previously received as a gift; also written re-gift

It has always seemed tacky to give as a gift something that was given to you. After all, if the gift was so bad you didn't want it, why would you want to palm it off on someone else? And how much thought could you have given to finding the perfect gift if you're going to simply re-wrap a present you'd already received? And then, there's the the idea that by regifting, you're just being cheap.

But is there a time when regifting is acceptable? Perhaps even a smart thing to do? We've all gotten gifts we didn't particularly like. There might have been nothing wrong with the item, it's just something you're not going to use. Or it might be a duplicate of something you already have. In these tough economic times, why spend money out of a tight budget when there's a perfectly good gift, something you're sure the recipient would enjoy, sitting untouched in your closet? What's wrong with giving to someone else something you don't need?

After all, once you've been given something as a gift, isn't it yours to do with as you want?

So admit it. Have you ever regifted???

14 Responses
  1. Karin Says:

    I have regifted and I don't think there's anything wrong with it. Of course, I only regift for gift exchanges. I won't regift for my family.

  2. Ashlyn Chase Says:

    One of my dearest friends and I make regifting required! We both have birthdays right after Christmas, so between the two days, we're sure to get something we'd rather not keep. So, what to do? We swap! Usually, whatever she didn't want, I really like and vice versa! It makes the holiday/birthdays a little more practical and fun. but, yup, it's our little secret!


  3. Helen Says:

    I don't usually regift, but if those guys are part of the deal, I could reconsider!


  4. Maria Says:

    I have regifted to co-workers. My sister used to give me Bath and Body Works for every occasion she could think of and not just one bottle but several bottles of things and most of the time I didn't like the fragrance but I know that at least 2 of my co-workers love the stuff so I would regift to them. I don't regift to the family.

  5. Natasha Says:

    Hi Karin. Seems like there's more of those gift exhanges every year. Regifting is perfect for those situations.

    Hey Ash! What a great idea for you and your friend!

  6. Natasha Says:

    Hi Helen! I'll remember next year if I get any extra hunks :)

    LOL Maria. I have more bottles of scented body lotion than I could use in my lifetime.

  7. Nicole North Says:

    I think regifting can be fine in certain situations. It is a type of recycling, after all. Certainly better than throwing a perfectly good item in the trash. But it can also be tricky, as shown in one of my favorite episodes of Seinfeld where everyone kept regifting a label maker. And I think the original person who bought ended up with it, didn't they? I forget the details now but it was hilarious.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    Hiya, Ms. Helen,

    Nope. Never regifted anything. If I get something that doesn't go with my lifestyle, decor or anything I don't like, I give it to Goodwill or Salvation Army. There has to be someone out there who will love it. With my memory, I'm afraid I'd regift it back to the person who gave it to me.
    As for the hunks, I'd love the cowboy in my Christmas stocking, please. As for the fellow in the straw, I'll bet he was "itching" to take a shower after that shot. lol


  9. Natasha Says:

    LOL Nicole. I never saw that episode, but it sounds hilarious.

  10. Natasha Says:

    LOL, Ginny! That last hunk gives a new meaning to a roll in the hay :)

  11. Cameo Brown Says:

    Regifting is fine if you can keep up with who gave you what. I only regift if I get something that I KNOW a friend or loved one would go crazy for; otherwise, I put it in the bag of things to give away. I always hope someone will get some use out of something I couldn't. Great post!

  12. Natasha Says:

    Hi Cameo. Wouldn't it be awful to regift back to the person who gave it to you??? Ouch!

  13. flchen1 Says:

    Yes, I have, but generally I try to stick to items that I think the recipient would love anyway, and that I know I wouldn't :) If I would have spent money buying it, there's no reason I wouldn't give them a new one that someone just happened to give me first.

    And mmm... feel free to regift any of that eye candy anytime :)

  14. N.J.Walters Says:

    I don't regift. I think it's fine if it works for you. What I do is give things to the local Salvation Army thrift store or put it out for a yard sale over the summer. Sometimes people give you things they like, rather than something that fits your lifestyle. I say thank you and then quietly get rid of it sometime in the future.

    We love to give gifts that come from thrift stores and yard sales. Each year, I usually have at least one or two gifts that come from those sources. It's fun and you can really find things that fit the person perfectly. I'm on the lookout all year long for those kinds of gifts. :-)

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