Recycled Goods: The Delicate Art of Re-gifting

Image courtesy of asenat29 flickr/CC license

Have you ever recycled an unwanted gift only to discover you’ve accidently given it back to the person who originally gave it to you? Or re-gifted a gift card inscribed with a name other than the recipient’s? Mistakes like these can cause a major hiccup in the family festivities, but recycling an unwanted gift, when done right, can be a time and money-saver during the Holiday season. Here are five important rules to re-gifting without the guilt or embarrassment.

1. Only re-gift a new item. Any sign of wear or tear is an absolute no, no. Therefore, if you’re re-gifting crystal wine glasses, you better make sure there’s no residual wine sediment at the bottom. Also make sure that if you rewrap in its original box, make sure the box not show signs of wear or tear. Of course I’ll have to make the exception of re-gifting family heirlooms or antiques, because one of my most memorable holiday gifts was a ruby necklace passed down from my great grandmother.

2. Don’t re-give a gift you’ll feel guilty about giving or will nail you eternally as a re-gifter. Therefore, no re-gifting within in the same social circle i.e. make sure the original giver doesn’t catch your present in the hands or home of someone else.

3. Don’t just give a gift to give a gift. Make sure the re-gifted present is worth giving. If you feel like the present is undesirable, to you or any person in your life, suck it up and keep an unwanted gift—after all, it was a gift. If you are re-gifting simply because you ran out of time or money, the receiver will catch onto your intentions and the present is just not worth giving, period.

4. Only re-gift if you can keep it under wraps. Don’t re-give a gift if you can’t keep a secret –it’s almost as tacky as telling someone how much you paid for a gift! This also goes for telling the original giver that you are re-gifting their original present. You want to spare their feelings after all.

5. Examine any gift carefully for old cards, engravings (such as on an iPod), or secret embroideries. Take the extra step to make sure it’s delicately rewrapped and addressed to the next person without flaw.

Also keep in mind that an unwanted gift could also be a welcome donation to many charitable organizations.

Every year you probably hear horror stories about red-handed re-gifting, here is a site that with not only give you tips on stealth gift recycling, but a few chuckles too! ()

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