Social Question

canidmajor's avatar

Time to rekindle that pesky “regifting, yes or no?” issue. So do you or don’t you regift?

Asked by canidmajor (20038points) 1 month ago

This subject often riles people up, some hate it, some love it. Where do you stand on the topic? Tacky or ingenious?

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42 Answers

janbb's avatar

If you think the person who is going to get the regift will truly like it – or you don’t care about the person and their reaction – I see nothing wrong with it. I’m tired of all the spending of money on waste. (Maybe this is just a justification for the fact that I am recycling a used book I just bought and read for a Christmas book exchange tomorrow!)

I am in a “Bah, Humbug” mood this year!

Dutchess_III's avatar

I think it’s fine.

rebbel's avatar

Only the gift of love.

Jeruba's avatar

I don’t. Never have. Something about it just feels crawly to me. Although I’m sure I’ve been the recipient more than once.

I also don’t approve of replacing “giving” with “gifting.”

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

My family would regift a Christmas fruit cake back and forth for years. I made the mistake of eating a piece.

gorillapaws's avatar

I think it’s perfectly fine. The alternative is to either accumulate a lot of stuff you don’t want or need, add it to the landfills, or donate it (I guess?). Whereas if you can give it to someone who will actually want and enjoy it, that’s a much better outcome for everyone.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

I probably need to start regifting but I can’t bring myself to gift something useless. I look around and I’m surrounded by shit I did not want and will never need. Most were gifts. People are generally poor gifters IMO. They buy stuff that looks like “it would make a good gift” but is otherwise useless. I try to give things that serve people utility. Something they’ll actually use but it may not look all “gifty” if you know what I mean.

canidmajor's avatar

I am a firm believer in giving something that someone else will like so it won’t be wasted.

And, @Jeruba, in this kind of casual conversation, verbing the noun clarifies the context.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I do it when I know there’s no chance of discovery. I must add that I don’t give gifts to people I don’t like. I receive few gifts.

For the first time in years, I’m giving a gift I’m nervous about. I want him to enjoy it. I want it to add to his life. I have no idea if what I’ve chosen will fit the bill.

chyna's avatar

I don’t see anything wrong with regifting (I do not like the word re-giving) if you know the person receiving the gift will really want it.
It beats selling the item on Facebook Market Place where the original giver may see it.

janbb's avatar

@Blackwater_Park Maybe you need to just throw junk out or donate it somewhere?

@chyna Don’t you mean the original “gifter”? :-)

canidmajor's avatar

I sometimes explain to the person the history if it is appropriate, too. No one has ever been offended, but the people I exchange gifts with tend to be of a like mind.

chyna's avatar

@janbb Yes, yes I do!

smudges's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake Is that your new someone special?

smudges's avatar

^^ Awwww…best of luck to you and yours.

janbb's avatar

Ok. I said I’m in a bah humbug mood but I bawl at Christmas adverts. What does that really say?

chyna's avatar

^That you are a pushover.

janbb's avatar


RayaHope's avatar

I think if you really care for the ones you are giving gifts to, it should come from the heart. Gift what you think they will love, simple as that! ;)

jca2's avatar

I have no objection to people doing it. I have never done it, I don’t think. If I receive a gift I don’t like, I usually either donate it to charity, or if I give it away, I’m not giving it as a gift, I’m giving it and explaining honestly “I don’t want this and if you want it, you can have it.” I do that with clothes (new and used) and promotional items I get from work – “do you want this? You can have it.”

I may have been on the receiving end of “a gift that keeps on giving,” who knows. I have received some great gifts in my life and I’ve received a lot of crappy and stupid gifts. People say we should be grateful that someone gave us a gift, and I am always grateful but I may, at the same time, feel like they should have saved their money or they probably spent more on this than they should have. Sometimes people have good intentions but they get it totally wrong. A few years ago, a friend gave me some fancy ceramic stuff, like a picture frame and a candle stick, and she thought it was “me” but it totally wasn’t “me.” I appreciate her thoughtfulness and her intention, but I felt bad because I never took it out of the box and I am not sure where it is now.

As far as wording goes, in the case of “regifting,” I like it and it sounds ok, because I’m used to it. As far as other instances where people replace “gave” with “gifted,” I think it sounds weird. That’s just my opinion and I understand I may be in the minority. I’m used to hearing people say “he gave me this book” rather than “he gifted me this book.” It is very common nowadays to hear “gifted” instead of “gave.” Maybe in time I will become accustomed to it.

janbb's avatar

I’m very comfortable with “regifted” as a term. I think that gifted rather than gave has a different connotation to me. It is more analogous to donated, e.g. “Mrs Brown gifted the library her entire collection of National Geographics.”

HP's avatar

There’s a hideous 2 tiered glass dessert, presentation thing that our friend received as a wedding present close to 40 years ago. At the birthday party for one of our mutual friends, the most beautifully wrapped present was opened to reveal guess what? And thus it began. No gift giving occasion has been exempt except for the restriction of kids from the torture following the surprise appearance of the “gift” early on at a baby shower. But even there, a certain 10 year old insisted on inclusion in the cult for her 11th birthday party, and of course the thing didn’t show up, to her great disappointment.
We unloaded it a couple of years ago when the son of our friend graduated law school. His parents received it the following Xmas, disassembled and packaged as 2 gifts impossibly small to give the hoax away.

JLeslie's avatar

I’m all for it. I’ve given people some amazing regifts that were perfect for them and something I never would use. Tiffany key chain to my MIL, all leather wine bottle carrier/holder to a coworker who is a wine sommelier, beautiful pewter platter, just to name a few. Sometimes regifts are just token items. It’s all over the map in my regift closet. If you give me wine or a candle it will likely be regifted.

This week my husband has to bring a gift for a work party. It’s that game where you draw numbers and then number one picks a wrapped gift, opens it, and then number two does the same and can keep what he picked or trade with number one. Then number three picks a gift and can trade with any of the already opened gifts, etc. They were told to bring a wrapped regift so no one has to spend any money. I think that’s a great idea for coworkers or a group of friends around the holiday time.

@jca2 I think it’s odd how the word gifted is being used now too. I’m in a Facebook group where people give things away and they write “gifted: 3 drawer dresser” and show a photo. It’s weird to me that it’s in the past tense. I needed to get used to the lingo. I think it should say offered or nothing at all. The group is only for giving things away for free or asking for something for free.

flutherother's avatar

There’s nothing wrong with giving someone something you no longer want but they might like. Just not at Christmas.

ragingloli's avatar

I do not get gifts, but if I did, I would not “regift” them.
It is an insult to all involved.

To the original giver it says
“Your gift sucked, so I am going to pawn it off to someone else. Be glad I am not throwing it in the trash!”

To the one receiving the “regift” it says
“I do not care about you enough to come up with a gift for you, but for the sake of keeping up appearances I’ll give you this piece of junk that has been collecting dust in my closet for the past few years.”

Forever_Free's avatar

I do not. I find it insensitive to the person who gave you the original gift AND the person you are pawning it off to.

canidmajor's avatar

Interesting responses, thanks guys. To the naysayers, I say that I think just tossing (whether never ever using, or throwing into the garbage, or donating to good will) is less thoughtful than passing it on to someone who might treasure it, and passing on something that the original giver is likely not to follow up on can make a lot of sense.

Your language, @Forever_Free, (“insensitive” “pawning it off to”) would indicate that you think that we who make the effort are callous about all this. Pretty callous yourself to assume this. Do you ask each person that gives you something how/where they acquired it? That would strike me as being a lot more insensitive.

Forever_Free's avatar

@canidmajor My opinion, and I am sticking to it. This has nothing to do with asking the giver. Answered as asked.

canidmajor's avatar

Ah, but @Forever_Free, your statement was so very generalized that I just had to wonder how you knew to react to the gifts that were given to you. Without asking, how can you know if any were regifts?

Forever_Free's avatar

@canidmajor I don’t know. I just feel it is insensitive.

JLeslie's avatar

I guess the people who are very negative have plenty of money to buy gifts, but what if someone doesn’t? I have the money, but I wouldn’t want to waste someone else’s money by letting their gift just sit in a closet. I do have some gifts that are very sentimental that I would never give away even if they do sit in a closet, but gifts given that have nothing to do with my likes or lifestyle? It’s not that I’m saying the gift is crap. It’s just saying I didn’t need it, or the giver guessed wrong about me, but I still appreciate the thought and time they spent giving me something.

Gifts like wine, candies, and candles, are meant to be used and then they are gone. So, regifting those isn’t like the person will come to your house and see you aren’t using it.

The gift my husband and I are taking to the Christmas party is a plaque that says “Bless This Home” and has a little stand. I don’t remember who gave it to us. I’m not religious, I don’t like a lot of knickknacks around the house, it sits in the closet in a box. I bet someone at the party will like those types of scripty signs in their house.

Plus, what about the amount of stuff and waste in the world? Especially, the United States of America. We buy so much that winds up in landfills. Passing along perfectly good gifts helps to reduce that.

You can tell the person that it’s a regift. “I received potpourri from Cindy and I wont use it, would you like it?” When you see how happy the new receiver is about the item you won’t feel bad anymore.

canidmajor's avatar

Thank you, @JLeslie, very well put. That’s exactly how I feel about it.

raum's avatar

I think stuff like chocolates or candles are fine to regift. Those aren’t very personal. And they’re more about intent (which I’ve already received and appreciated) than item.

I would be fine if someone regifted chocolates or candles that I had given them—unless it’s from Laderach or something special.

If it’s something I feel that they had picked out especially for me, I won’t regift. Instead, I will hang onto it for months and donate to Salvation Army in a guilt-ridden house purge. :P

SQUEEKY2's avatar

I haven’t done it, but I know relatives and friends that have I am kinda hurt when I see a gift I gave to some one regifted.

canidmajor's avatar

Yeah, @SQUEEKY2, that would be a bit hurtful. I keep track of how I regift so that kind of thing doesn’t happen.

HP's avatar

I see nothing wrong with regifting something you receive for which you have no use. I might not try to pass it off as a formal gift, but passing it on to someone who wants and will use it only makes sense. For myself, if I guess wrong on what someone might want or appreciate, I can’t expect them to cling to it simply to spare my feelings.

JLeslie's avatar

@SQUEEKY2 I’m just curious how often that has happened and do your family and friends do a lot of gifting? My family doesn’t give gifts very often. It’s a relief.

I tell people “don’t buy me anything.” Lol.

When I give a gift that I bought (usually the case) I give it with a gift receipt whenever possible so they can return or exchange it.

Almost everyone I know over age 45 doesn’t want anything, unless it’s something very specific. Their houses are already full of stuff and they are thinking about downsizing. If they are over 65 they might be in Swedish clean mode.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@ragingloli….the parties involved shouldn’t know if they’re being given a present that was originally given to someone else. And it would be extremely insensitive to regift a present in the presence of the person who originally gave you the gift.

jca2's avatar

About the “no more gifts,” I agree with that one wholeheartedly, @JLeslie. About a year ago, I made an agreement with two friends that we would not continue to give each other gifts at Christmas and birthdays. One of those friends had originally said she doesn’t exchange gifts with many people, and it was pleasurable for her to do our gift exchange, but to me, it felt like exchanging gifts for the sake of exchanging gifts. It was stressful to find something, it was money I really didn’t need to spend, and if I need something, I buy it. I am trying to minimize buying stuff, especially clothes. Right now I have a huge garbage bag of clothes bagged up to donate to the Vietnam Vets.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@JLeslie We have stopped giving gifts among the adults for a few years now and really like it like that.

KNOWITALL's avatar

All for it.

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