No I mean REALLY, you shouldn’t have.
At least one point in our lives, we’ve received gifts that we don’t like (accompanied with the thought: “what the hell were they thinking?”). I like to think that the majority of us were taught to express gratitude and pretend to like the gift.
I can always appreciate the thought, but not necessarily the gift itself. Into the junk drawer/closet you go, never to be seen again. If there is a gift receipt that accompanies the gift, I will have no hesitation to go into the store and exchange it for something I like or get a store credit if I can’t find anything at the time. The gift receipt shows the giver was concerned whether or not you would like the gift and wanted to make sure you had the choice of getting something you liked, if need be.
So what about the dirty “R” word?
The dirty regifting word can be accompanied with other “R” words such as reduce (reducing the amount of time, effort and money to spend on a new gift), reuse (you’re saving the environment) and recycle (Not so sure this one counts though because you’re not really turning something old into something new. Well I guess you’re pretending, by giving something old and making it seem like it’s new).
There are several situations in which the possibility of regifting can creep into one’s mind. You’re stuck on what to get a certain person for a special occasion. You may be really strapped for cash. It can happen around the holidays where unexpected gift giving seems to run rampant. All of a sudden your gift giving list has gotten longer. Although you had no intention buying someone a gift, this person got you a gift and now you feel obligated to reciprocate the kind gesture. Regifting seems obvious.
Is Regifting Really Taboo?
Regifting is only taboo if it is really obvious. To me, a bad regift is just as bad as buying a present from the Dollar Store or giving those freebies you get when your purchase of Mary Kay/Avon stuff reaches a certain amount. I may be frugal and even cheap to a certain extent, but I go out of my way to get decent gifts whenever possible. I can be a generous person. I get real annoyed when there are people who clearly have a ton of money, yet give horrible gifts of such cheap quality and not even useful. However, if the gift is a really good gift, in practically mint condition and you think the recipient will enjoy or benefit from this gift, then why not?
Should You Disclose if You Are Regifting?
Should you tell them that their gift is a regift? I’m 50/50 on that one. I think it depends on what type of person they are. Some people look down on regifting and may be offended by it and see it as a sign of disrespect. For them, gifts need to be brand new – regifting is a slight.
I don’t see it that way. A father can give his teenage son a used car as a gift. The son would most likely see it as an awesome gift that meant independence and a way to get hot dates. A grandmother can give her granddaughter a handmade quilt that has been passed down from generation to generation. Someone could give their fiancé/fiancée an engagement watch or ring that is a family heirloom.
Another very important consideration: don’t regift the gift to the person who originally gave it to you. Remember who gave you the gift! Also, make sure to regift the gift to someone who wouldn’t see or doesn’t know the original gift giver. The last thing you would want is the original gift giver to find out you regifted their present away (unless they are okay with it).
While sometimes a dollar amount is put on gifts, in terms of gift exchange and budgeting for the holidays, the amount of quality shouldn’t be neglected either. It is obvious you can get cheap things for a cheap price and expensive things for an expensive price. At the same time, you can get items of a nice quality at an economical price and you can get items of garbage quality at an expensive price.
Have you ever regifted or been the recipient of a regift? Do you consider regifting bad etiquette?