Christmas Vibes

The Essential Guide To Christmas Re-Gifting

It’s something we all face at least once in our lives – a gift that misses the mark. It can be hard to find everyone on your list the perfect Christmas present, especially when you’re buying for everyone from your best friend to your other half’s brother’s mother-in-law. If you’ve ever received a gift that just wasn’t “you”, then you may have considered giving it to someone else. After all, you’d save it from gathering dust, re-coop a bit of money on gift shopping, and give it a home with someone who’d really appreciate it. It’s a triple win, right? Well, re-gifting does come with some etiquette, so when you’re re-gifting a present at Christmas, bear these rules in mind to make sure everyone stays full of festive cheer!

Re-gift thoughtfully

It can be tempting to re-gift something you don’t want just to get rid of it, but Christmas is the season of giving, not clearing out clutter! Only re-gift an item if you genuinely think the new recipient will appreciate it more than you did. If you can’t think of anyone to give it to, then re-gifting probably isn’t the right choice. Instead, consider selling the item online, or donating it to a charity shop or raffle to give your unwanted gift a new appreciative owner.

Avoid re-gifting within the same friendship or family group!

If you get caught out re-gifting, you may end up with a lot of hurt feelings and embarrassment on your hands. Not only will you be mortified, but the recipient may be upset that you haven’t splashed out on them, and the original giver could be hurt that you didn’t like their gift. Keep your re-gifting quiet by choosing your recipients carefully to avoid people who know each other. That set of golf tees your friend gave you hoping you’d play with him more probably isn’t appropriate to give to a mutual golfing friend. Your golf-loving Uncle who has never met your friends, however, is fair game.

Christmas gift

How to re-gift food and drink

Perishable gifts like food and drink can go to waste if you’re not a fan of what you’ve been given. They can’t even easily be passed on if they have a short shelf life. A simple way to get round this without throwing it away is to crack open the gift at a group gathering – after all, sharing is part of the festive spirit! The original giver may not notice that you didn’t have any yourself, and will be pleased that their gift contributed to a successful celebration. This is especially easy if the gift is a bottle of wine, or something you can incorporate into the nibbles you’re serving. If this doesn’t work for you, you could take unwanted food gifts to work for the resident vultures to snaffle!

Read more: DIY Homemade Christmas Gifts

Stick to brand new items

This one should really go without saying! If you’re going to re-gift something, make sure it’s in its original packaging and hasn’t been used. There are some exceptions to this, like family heirlooms, antiques, and first edition books. As a general rule of thumb, though, if it’s not brand new, don’t re-gift it. You can still give away used items if you don’t have a use for them. Present it as an optional favour when you offer it to a new owner, rather than as a gift!

What not to re-gift

Even if you stretch the rules and convince yourself that your Aunty really would appreciate hankerchiefs embroidered with your initials, there are some things you simply can’t re-gift. If somebody has handmade or personalised a gift for you, then even if you hate it, it’d be hurtful to re-gift it or otherwise give it away. Likewise, if the gift has some sentimental value attached, it’d be bad form to give it away later. Sentimental value could be the amount of effort the giver has gone to, or the gift could be a family heirloom. In these cases, your best bet is to find a spot at home for it where it won’t bother you or draw attention.

Good luck!

26% of women in the UK have re-gifted a Christmas present – would you?