Re-gifting is something that many people practice but will not admit. Personally, I think it’s a smart thing especially in these struggling times. It was quite handy back in college, when I was subsisting on money from odd jobs or my folks. Not to mention, I was too busy to shop for gifts because I had a paper due or had to report for work. It worked then, it still works now. Here are some tips to remember when re-gifting this Christmas.
1. Keep track of the items you want to re-gift.
Make a list of the items that you plan to give away and take note of the person who gave it to you and who you’re giving it to. Now, when I say “take note,” I don’t mean mentally. I mean, write it down.
The first few times I tried to “recycle,” I ended up giving my cousin Steve the same thing he gave me! (It was a steak knife set, which I had no use for because I’m vegan.) I still haven’t heard the end of it from my family. Every Christmas, they check their presents to see if they had given it to me first!
2. Keep the items in separate groups.
To add an element of stealth (and ensure you are not revealed as a re-gifter), give the item to someone who is not in the same circle as the person who gave it to you.
For instance, that paperweight from Uncle Sid goes to Holly from HR. The scented candles that you got from last year’s Christmas party can go to your mom, sister or cousin. The less likely the people are to interact, the better.
3. Make it more personal by re-wrapping the gift.
Tie it up with a pretty ribbon, add a couple of bows and lovely message on the card. Just because you did not go out and buy the gift, it does not mean you should not put any effort into it.
In the same vein, make sure the item is clean, untarnished, or undamaged. There’s nothing more revealing than a gift that has obviously gone through the wringer.
4. Choose the items you want to re-gift with care.
I always make sure that the item is something the receiver will really like. Since I have no use for it, it might as well go to someone who does. Open gifts to check if there’s a personal message on the item. There is nothing more mortifying than the person finding out that you gave him or her a “recycled” gift. Trust me, I know. When Steve opened his gift, I wanted to crawl under a rock and stay there for the next 50 years or so.
Re-gifting is like Fight Club, the Number 1 Rule is to not talk about it. With these tips in mind, you’ll successfully re-gift items for years and not get caught!
About the Author:
Rachel Book is a part-time researcher and analyst for an online retailer of live Christmas trees. She has mastered the art of re-gifting and hasn’t been caught since that hilarious moment with her cousin Steve.