What items work to regift and what doesn’t?

giftChristmas is officially six months away. It’s time to start thinking about gift giving. For me, that means checking my gift box supply for things to regift.

What’s in my gift box? Items I’ve received over the year(s) that really didn’t work for me. Things that might suit someone else that I can regift.

In case you’re not familiar with the term, regifting is the act of receiving a gift, and then after some time, wrapping it up and giving it to someone else.

It’s a way of recycling what you don’t want or can’t use.

The trick to regifting lies in knowing what’s acceptable to re-gift, what’s a definite no-no, and the cardinal rule of regifting:

Only regift NEW items not used items unless they classify as antiques.

Here are ten items considered acceptable to regift.

  • Candles – Designed to be used up and thrown away, are very easy to regift when unused and plastic remains.
  • Soaps, Lotions, and Bathroom Items -Soaps, hand creams, lotions, bubble baths are all fine to regift. Only if the items haven’t expired and haven’t been opened.
  • Games, Toys, and Puzzles -Perfectly okay to regift if intact. Do make a note of who gave what to whom, though. Last thing you’d want to do is give a game/toy/puzzle back to someone who gave it to you.
  • Some Clothing -Don’t risk a friendship or argument if you travel in the same circle of friends and the fact you never wear the gift will be obvious. Also, be sure all tags remain intact.
  • Wine and Spirits – Wine only gets better with age. Hard liquor does too. So if it’s sealed, you’re good to give.
  • Gift Cards – Make sure the balance never expires, or is still intact because some devious people out there operate gift card frauds.
  • Gift Baskets -As long as you haven’t removed half the contents, destroyed the packaging, or kept the basket so long the items have expired.
  • Fragrances -Perfumes, aftershaves, and eau de toilettes are all fair game for regifting provided they remain sealed in the original box.
  • Kitchen Items -Toasters. Blenders. Frying pans. Coffee makers. All very regiftable if in original packaging. Be careful not to offend anyone who might come to your home and cannot see what they gave you. Awkward situation you want to avoid.
  • Novelties and Gag Gifts -Perfect for those white elephant exchanges that abound in December or age-related parties. The fun of some white elephant exchanges is the same gifts appear year after year and become a running joke.

Now these four things should NEVER be regifted:

  1. Personalized items even if you share initials
  2. Anything with an inscription
  3. Opened CDs, DVDs, and Blu-Rays
  4. Anything universally awful unless used as a gag gift

What about you? Are you a regifter? What things do you pass along?

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2 Comments on “What items work to regift and what doesn’t?

  1. On one AF Base, we passed around a zodiac clock. It was quite hideous. Any time someone received an award or a promotion, out it came from the back of a storage closet. I wonder if it’s still circulating.

    • That’s funny, Jody. I think West Houston RWA had a pooping reindeer that appeared at every holiday party. Happy to say I never ended up with the critter.

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