Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Regifting - Yea or Nay?

Now that the holidays are coming to an end and all of the presents are unwrapped, I thought it would be a good time to chat about regifting. Let's get straight to the question, is regifting acceptable or not? Do you regift? Would you be offended if someone regifted or returned a gift you gave to them? I am very curious to hear your opinion.

Personally I think regifting is okay. In my opinion, once you give someone a gift it is their gift to do whatever they please with it. If you give someone a gift with stipulations or expectations on how they are going to use it, is it really a gift? Again, I'm just posing the question here, realizing that there is no universal "right" answer, but rather a right answer for each person.

A few reasons why I may regift, return, donate, or even sell a gift given to me are:
  1. I don't like it. Maybe it's a piece of clothing, jewelry, bath and body goods in a fragrance that is unappealing to me, etc.
  2. I cannot use it. I had an aunt give me a butter dish one year, and I was 16 years old! Are you kidding me?!
  3. It's something I have already. A very good friend (who actually reads this blog) gave me a mini cocktail bar set for my birthday one year. Well I had one already, a pretty nice one too. Unfortunately since I already have one, the one that she gave to me as a gift will most likely be at the spring garage sale in a few months. Sorry friend, you know I love you;-).
  4. I don't want it. Yep, sometimes this happens. It's not that I don't like it per-se, or that I can't use it, or even that I have something similar, I just may not like it. A good example here is an I-Pod that I regifted. I'm so not quite the techie person and I already have a smart phone (i.e. Palm Treo). I just can't take the thought of carrying around 2 and 3 pieces of electronic equipment throughout the day. LOL.

My disdain for clutter will not allow me to keep things hanging around the house just because it was a gift. I believe in finding a use for things. Luckily for me I don't have to regift or return gifts given to me often. Those whom I'm blessed to receive gifts from generally do a good job of picking items that they know I'll enjoy. However, once the gift is given to me, I take full ownership of it; I have complete autonomy to do whatever I want to with it because that's the definition of a gift to me. If regifting is not in your code of etiquette, is there a statue of limitations when the ban is lifted? I shared the following story with Abby at I Pick Up Pennies, she too blogged about regifting.

I have an aunt who wanted to help me purchase odds and ends when I moved into my first apartment after college. Since I lived with her for a couple of months, I knew that she had many boxes of unused dishes in the closet of her spare bedroom (from places like K-mart and Wal-mart). Because her heart is generally bigger than her purse, and there was no talking her out of getting me some household items, I suggested that she just give me a box of unused dishes out of the closet. Her response was "Oh no, I can't do that. Those dishes were given to me as wedding gifts." (It's important to note here that I did not know those dishes were wedding gifts because it had been 5 years since she got married. I would have never suggested them had I known they were wedding gifts). She got married in our small hometown so there was no such thing as a wedding registry. From the looks of the unopened boxes, it seems that everyone must have given her dishes and towels. Well my dear aunt went on and purchased me some dishes anyway. As of today, she's been married 14 years and has moved 3 times ... and those dishes are still in the closet of her spare bedroom.


Shtinkykat said...

The only re-gifting/give away no-no are handmade gifts since they come from the heart. OMG, I can't believe you gave away an iPod, though!

Anonymous said...

I'm with Shtinkykat!

Regifting is okay in my book. Honestly, if I gave someone a gift that they were not very excited about, I would much rather hear that it was put to use by being donated or passed along to someone who enjoys it, as opposed to finding out it's sitting in there closet. If I spend money on something, I would want to see someone get something out of it!

So I guess I just look at regifting as a form of "paying it forward" in a sense...?!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, you know I figured that would be the case. Cuz when I gave it to you, you were like thanks, I already bought one. :-)

Re-gifting is okay. I think it's just not in good taste to re-gift back to the giver as if they didn't already give the gift to you. :-) Unless both of you are aware of this and it's like one of those I really won't get to use this would you like to keep it for yourself type of thing.

Know what I mean!!!!!!

jpkittie said...

I definately think it is okay - especially if the person you are going to give it to would truly enjoy it or could use it. but also with shtinkykat - homemade is definately not okay

Sharon Rose said...

Hi there-I will regift if necessary too or give something I don't need or want to the charity shop. Have a very Happy New Year!

Ms. MoneyChat said...

sounds like we're all in agreement. and yes i completely agree that there are rules to regifting. i would never regift just to "get rid" of something, it would have to be a situation where i know the receiver would really enjoy it, like jpk said.

you know, i never thought about the handmade gifts ... probably because i generally don't get any handmade gifts. however, i agree, those are keepers.

~Simply Me~ said...

Re-gifting is fine as long as the intent is to truly bless someone with the gift and not to "just get rid of something" in your closet. If someone else could benefit from a gift you received that you cannot use, why keep it? Share. I've won numerous iPods in raffles over the years. Why on earth would I keep all of them? Share. :)

Oh, but I totally agree with Shtinkykat regarding the homemade gifts...never part with those!