General Question

scotsbloke's avatar

What is your opinion on re-giving unwanted Christmas presents?

Asked by scotsbloke (3751 points ) December 26th, 2009

I know it sounds a wee tad unappreciative or ungrateful, but generally we all get something we are not going to use, or don’t want, don’t we? What’s your views on re-giving them to others?
Would you keep them regardless?
Would you tell the person who gave them to you?

Personally, I’m grateful for any present I receive, I have been given things in the past, I’ll never use, but to me they are kind of special and the chances are my kids or grandkids will get them. I was once given a gift back, I’d given to someone the year before – and to be honest I was a bit miffed about it! lol. (It was an aged relative but still…...........lol)

What’s your views?

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42 Answers

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

Make sure you don’t give them back to the person you recieved it from, or someone who knows that you got it as a gift from someone else. Leave the tags on to remind you.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

I recycled a few things this Christmas. It wouldn’t bother me to get something back, because I tend to buy people things that I like and think they’ll like too, or something they specifically ask for. I quit trying to be imaginative. If I see something I like, I have no problem with giving 5 people the exact same thing, even if the presents get opened at the same time.

john65pennington's avatar

To me, its a uncalculated risk. supposes the gift-giver discovers this? that could be an imbarrassing moment. i would not do this. i would either take it back to the store for an exchange or refund or i would just hide it somewhere with my other “Christmas stuff” i did not like. you can always give it to Goodwill for a deduction.

ucme's avatar

Good idea if you have an unwanted bike to recycle.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land You took the words right out of my mouth. Good post.

Arisztid's avatar

I do not have a problem with it as long as the regifted present is something the recipient would want and thought has gone into it.

Just giving it to someone to get it out of your hair is tacky.

BraveWarrior's avatar

I won’t give it as a wrapped gift unless it has the store tags or a gift receipt because I’d be concerned that my recipient wouldn’t be able to exchange or return the gift (but then if the gift had the store tags or gift receipt I’d exchange it myself). I would offer it to someone that I thought would like or have a use for it, otherwise, donate it to The Salvation Army.

Futomara's avatar

Once a gift is received, it’s yours to do with what you like. Not every gift given will be liked by the recipient and vice versa. But why does the only option have to be re-giving the gift? If you didn’t like it, what makes you think others will. And just giving it to some other sucker is plain lazy. IMHO, the best thing to do is sell it to someone that wants it on eBay or other. Or, in the true spirit of gift giving, re-wrap it and give it to a complete stranger.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

It all depends on who gave the gift to you, and how they gave it to you.

If the gift was from an workmate or a casual accquaintance (like an office secret santa gift), then by all means re-gift it. However, if it is from a relative or someone close to you and they put some thought into it (even if they were way off), then I would not re-gift it.

JustPlainBarb's avatar

I think it’s fine, but some gift givers might be a bit offended. They did choose the gift for you and might rather you returned it and got something you wanted (if possible) than to give it to someone else.

The whole gift giving “thing” gets out of hand anyway. We put too much emphasis on what we receive or what we give rather than just making sure people know we care about them… better to show someone you care in other ways I think.

greencarp's avatar

It’s a gift, and it’s the thought that counts. If it’s the perfect gift for someone else, then by all means send it to it’s proper place. I’m not Catholic, I don’t do guilt. I’m happy if someone (whether the original receiver or otherwise) enjoys it. Give your gifts a good home!

Val123's avatar

I think it’s perfectly, perfectly fine. To me, it’s better giving it to someone who would appreciate it, rather than sitting in your closet (or where ever) dying a slow death. I got a big huge thing of assorted candles one year, and I know for a fact they were a re-gift. I’ve used the heck out of them! One of the best presents!

gailcalled's avatar

I was given a lovely gift of a matching pen and pencil; the giver forgot that they had her monogram on both of them.

Val123's avatar

@gailcalled ROFL!!!!!!!!!!!!! A LOT!! Well, if not for that, would that have been a great gift for you? (Still chuckling here!)

gailcalled's avatar

@Val123: Glad to have made you laugh with text only. It was a very useful gift, monogram and all. The friendship waned however.

Val123's avatar

@gailcalled Because of that?

gailcalled's avatar

Among other things, such as choosing my ex-husband after we were divorced….

Val123's avatar

@gailcalled Oh man…yes, that would certainly do it…..

Stargater's avatar

I don’t have a roblem with it at all indeed i probably have been the recipient of many a “re-gifted” gift lol as they say one womans disliked gift is another womansdream come true gift lol

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

In our family, we used to play a game called Dirty Santa in which we gave gag gifts. Every year, the same old purse would show up, and someone would get stuck with it.

As far as re-giving legitimate gifts, I see nothing wrong with it at all.

Supacase's avatar

I think it is fine. I would only regift to people who have no contact with the original giver so there would be no risk of hurt feelings.

I never check up on whether or not people are using the gifts I have given them and don’t concern myself over anyone who does. I cannot possibly have every gift anyone ever gave me on display or in use in my house. It is physically impossible.

missyb's avatar

@gailcalled gasp! Well I guess she felt if she gave you her castoffs she could have yours. What a lousy friend!

I have re-gifted, but it was only ever gifts I knew would be appreciated. When you recieve a gift you know you will re-gifted, a good idea is to put a post-it note on it saying who gave it to you. That way you can avoid the awkwardness of giving it to the peson who gave it to you, or someone else in that same circle of family or friends.

missyb's avatar

Let me just add that re-gifting something is way less offensive than never using a gift and not even having the decency of hiding it when the giver comes to visit a few times every year! My mother still has many of the gifts I have given her over the years, and I see many of them un-used every time I visit! It really hurts my feelings. At least if she re-gifted it I would know that someone was getting some use or enjoyment out of my gifts, many of which I made myself.

HighShaman's avatar

I see nothing wrong with regifting….

One year I received SIX fruitcakes as everyone knew that i liked them…..

King_of_Sexytown's avatar

Regifting actually happened this year!!! I went to a party and the hostess of the party had a daughter that had just gotten married this past June. They had gotten THIRTEEN crock pots and they regifted one to her for Christmas this year. It was the best one they had that was unused and her mom had just broken her crock pot at Thanksgiving. So that was all good.

@stranger_in_a_strange_land If you can try and give it to someone who has never even met the person that even gave it to you. For example if you got it from a relative then take it to the office party and give it to someone there. Someone far away in your circle of people is better.

Val123's avatar

Is it right to regift the puppy and cute little kid statues my kids “discovered” at garage sales and bought for me when they were little, like 15, 20 years ago? And which I STILL have on “display” in places, like, on top of the second fridge in the laundry room? Um. No. Me thinks not!

Jeruba's avatar

I’ve never been able to bring myself to do it, not as a wrapped gift masquerading as one I had chosen, although in theory I guess it’s all right. But I have over time found occasions to part with unused and unwanted gifts just on a “Here—could you use this?” basis. Once someone actually saw an ill-suited gift in my basement, where I had stowed it to get it out of sight, and admired it so vociferously that I made him a present of it on the spot. He was delighted and carried it away smiling. Luckily my relative never asked me about it.

Seek's avatar

Hey, not everyone likes everything, and sometimes you get a bottle of champagne, when you’re a whiskey person. If your friend happens to be a champagne person, why not let them have a few Mimosas?

(By the way, thank you to my dear friend Deanna, who re-gifted me with an awesome bottle of very tasty champagne, which did make some really good mimosas.)

aprilsimnel's avatar

I got re-gifted this year: A Christmas-themed kitchen dish towel and a tube of hand lotion. o_O

I don’t mind people recycling their gifts in my general direction, but those items aren’t going on my “Best Christmas Gifts evvvaaar!” list.

YARNLADY's avatar

I would usually only do it if I received an oversupply of something. I am very easy to please when it comes to gift. It still have the scented candles that were given to me by a friend several years ago. I don’t use them, but They look good on my holiday table.

LTaylor's avatar

Why re-gift when you can take it back and use the refund on something you do want.

gailcalled's avatar

@King of Sexytown: I would be happy to have anyone’s slow cooker. I hate mine and use it only for oatmeal.

scotsbloke's avatar

@gailcalled – is that the same as Porridge? lol

lonelydragon's avatar

@john65pennington I like that solution. Much more diplomatic.

I received a “re-gifted” item this Christmas, and although I still plan to use it, I believe that re-gifting is tacky and dishonest. After all, the “re-gifter” is trying to create the illusion that the item is new, when it isn’t. Re-gifting also shows a lack of thought. Rather than taking the time to select a gift that you know the person would like, you’re simply unloading your unwanted items on them.

With that said, I don’t object to re-gifting outside the context of the Christmas holidays. If you have an item you don’t want and you informally offer it to someone who might want to use it, without wrapping it up and presenting it as a gift item, then I see nothing wrong with that.

King_of_Sexytown's avatar

@gailcalled Twas a good crock pot too. It came with a spoon for stirring and this locking thingy to keep the lid in place for taking it to other people’s houses for parties or whatever. I would have liked it too, regifted or otherwise.

mattbrowne's avatar

A resource-conscious approach. But the people involved should not know about each other.

gailcalled's avatar

@Val123 @scotsbloke: It makes miraculous creamy oatmeal from steel-cut oats. Otherwise, I’d have to stand and stir a pot for 20 minutes. Life’s too short.

Plus I make enough for 5 days. Add ground flaxseed, cinnamon, flaked unsweetened coconut, prunes or raisins, slivered almonds or walnuts, sunflower seeds. You can then skip lunch.

@scotsbloke; I don’t know what porridge is. A universal thick breakfast gruel or specifically one make of oats?

scotsbloke's avatar

@gailcalled – sorry my friend but this may be lengthy, But heck, Porridge is Important to the Scots! lol
– - – - – - – - – - – - – - -

THE HISTORY OF PORRIDGE – once upon a time

Porridge has been around for yonks and is most strongly associated with the Scots but the Welsh often ate oats, too.

Dr (Samuel) Johnson’s 18th Century dictionary definition of oats reads “a grain which in England is given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people.” And was in fact a dig at them.

There are many traditions and myths surround the making of porridge. Some say the oatmeal was to be added in batches, some say at the beginning and some say it ought to be added half way through the cooking to produce a nuttier flavour and interesting texture.

Some say that porridge should be allowed to stand and than be re-heated, others say that it should be made the day before it is to be eaten.

There was a belief that porridge should only be stirred in a clockwise direction using the right hand so you didn’t evoke the ‘devil’.

Porridge was often spoken of as ‘they’ and an old custom states that it should be eaten standing up and using a bone spoon.

To eat, a bowl of porridge was cupped in cold hands to warm them, and each spoonful of steaming porridge was dipped into a cup of cold milk, cream or buttermilk before eating.

Oats were also cooked and poured into a mould – sometimes even a drawer, and allowed to set. The solid oat slab (perhaps the earliest incarnations of oat biscuits or muesli slice!) were then sliced and taken to work to be eaten through the day.

While oats are considered a relative newcomer to modern day agriculture, the first traces of cultivation of wild strains date from about 1000 BC in Europe.

The Greeks and Romans found the grain coarse and inedible and dubbed it ‘barbarian’s food’ and fed it to their animals. They did however plant and harvest oat crops in Britain where it became eaten widely in Wales and even more so in Scotland – hence Dr Johnson’s jibe.

Oats were introduced to America by Scottish immigrants. They were first grown in Massachusetts in 1602 and early recipes have a strong Scottish influence, but it wasn’t until the mid-19th century when the means of making porridge quickly, by using oat flakes, that saw the breakfast dish gain in popularity.

In 1877, the Quaker Oat Company developed the method of cutting, steaming and rolling the oats to create oat flakes or rolled oats as we best know them today.

Marian McNeill wrote in her 1929 recipe book “The Scot’s Kitchen”, ‘the one and only method’ for making porridge. She recommends the cook be ‘very particular about the quality of the oatmeal. Midlothian oats are reputed to be unsurpassed but the small Highland oats are very sweet.’

Her instructions are to bring the water to the boil, and then add coarse oatmeal, ‘in a steady rain from the left hand, stirring it briskly the while with the right, sunwise, are with the right hand turn for luck – and convenience.’

Once the porridge has returned to the boil, it should be cooked slowly for 20–30 minutes, using a special stick known as a spurtle or theevil, to stir.

It’s during cooking that the starches in the oats soften, resulting in the thick and creamy textured mixture.

Porridge certainly has a long and interesting history.

Of course porridge became immortalised with thanks to English poet Robert Southey’s 1837 prose of The Story of the Three Bears (although it’s believed there are even earlier variations) and later published in “Old Nursery Stories and Rhymes” in 1904 as Goldilocks and the Three Bears.
_________________________________________
How To Make Porridge

How to make porridge the traditional Scottish way is to use the finest Scots porridge oats or a good quality oatmeal. Though the Scottishrecipes.co.uk team like to use the Tesco own label porridge much more than the more expensive porridge oats. It has a lighter and creamier texture and is easy and quick to make. Ideally soak the oats overnight in the quantity of water needed for each portion. This results in fluffier and tastier porridge recipes and is especially important for those using finer oatmeal. Traditionally you should stir clockwise but stirring this way and anticlockwise would help break up the oats and stop it sticking to the saucepan.

gailcalled's avatar

@scotsbloke: Thank you. I am adding yonks, and spurtle /theevil to my vocabulary.

I end up with creamy and nutty oatmeal with the slow cooker. Due to the coriolis effect, I think the oats would stir themselves clockwise, so all’s well.

Some say the oatmeal was to be added in batches, some say at the beginning and some say it ought to be added half way through the cooking to produce a nuttier flavour and interesting texture.

Halfway through1 the cooking, what do you add the oats to?

scotsbloke's avatar

@gailcalled
.............Added to the pot, (pre-soaked oats) traditionally it was made with water, I prefer it with milk though, and I put sugar in mine, most Scots will add salt…..........yuk! lol

breathe's avatar

At Christmas time, there is usually a tree in the mall where you can pick a name tag off. If your gift is for a man, then you pick a mans name and give the gift for that person. I love to give gifts on those trees, because those people can’t afford any gifts whether it be goodwill or salvation army. Re-gift to those that get nothing otherwise.

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