Regifting: What is it?
What is ‘regifting’ and is regifting gifts in workplace a good idea?
According to Wikipedia regifting is
Regifting or regiving is the act of taking a gift that has been received and giving it to somebody else, sometimes in the guise of a new gift.
For example many of you might remember that scene from Old School where an appliance is being regifted as a wedding gift- housewarming gift-a child’s birthday gift.
Embarrassing but funny too.
But what about the workplace?
Is It Ok to Regift Gifts At Workplace?
To illustrate my point let me share a story. Last Christmas a colleague of mine got a pair of funny socks on Secret Santa which he packed & regifted another colleague on his birthday party at work!
It would’ve been ok except that all of us had seen the original pair of socks & remembered it.
We all know the feeling when we get a gift at work.The anticipation is high, but when you unwrap it, you realize you don’t love it.
How do you react?
In truth most people will put on a happy face and thank the gift-giver politely — which is the right thing to do.
But what do you do with that unwanted gift in the days and months afterward?
According to an article published in an issue of Current Directions in Psychological Science, the average gift-giver doesn’t think past the initial gift-giving event. Why Certain Gifts Are Great to Give but Not to Get: A Framework for Understanding Errors in Gift Giving.
Having said that there are a few simple etiquettes that can avoid hurting the person who got you the gift.
Simple Etiquettes While Regifting
Never Regift Anything Handmade
There aren’t gift receipts for handmade gifts. It might not be your usual style, but if you know someone took extra time to locate or make a gift for you don’t regift it.
Handmade gifts often include an emotional component since the giver took extra time and care to create something for you rather than just ordering a gift on their Amazon account for the free shipping.
For example, if your best friend worked hard to make a wall hanging for your home, they’d probably be upset if they knew you regifted it to someone else. It’s best to keep handmade items and acknowledge the time and effort that went into making the gift.
Never Regift A Meaningful Gift
If the giver makes comments about taking the time to choose the perfect gift or seems really excited to give you something, acknowledge that effort and keep it.
You might not really need that first-edition book, but you can appreciate the time and thought that went into finding and purchasing it.
Put it on your shelf and use it as a reminder of how much the giver cares about you instead of regifting it.
Never Regift Food Gifts
Regifting a bottle of wine is no big deal, but if someone gave you homemade or custom baked goods or treats, don’t regift them. Without the preservatives of prepackaged store-bought food, the treats could spoil or decline in quality before they reach the final recipient.
If you receive a food gift you know you won’t consume, share it ASAP rather than framing it as a gift for someone else.
If you received prepackaged goods you can’t consume before they expire, like a tin of store-bought holiday cookies, donate them to your local food bank. It’s actually regifting it to someone in need.
Having said that we are still stuck with a gift that we dont need or want. What to do with it?
Ways To Regift Gifts
1. Organize a Regift Party at work
At my place of work after Christmas we have what we call a regift party where co workers bring in small gifts that they don’t want for some reason.
Just like Secret Santa. We write the items on a piece of paper & put it in a hat.
You get what you pick out.
If by a rare chance you pick your own item you just put it back in without reading it aloud. Its so much fun.
2. Avoid Signs of Regifting
Even if something is still new and in its original box, you could inadvertently leave telltale signs you’ve regifted.
And since feelings about receiving a regifted presents can be complicated even if they really like the gift, it’s crucial to remove all signs you were the original recipient.
Check for the following:
- Leftover wrapping paper from Christmas gifts
- Leftover tape
- Signs the box was previously opened
- An original card or gift tag from the giver
- A name written on the packaging
- Personalization, such as a book with an inscription
- Promotional material, such as a logo on something you received for free
3. Check Out Regifting Websites
I am sure there are many more websites where you could sell your gifts instead of regifting it but am going to recommend
Both these websites can get you a good buck but do come with challenges like shipping etc. So, check them out (not my affiliate).
4. Regift To Charity
Stuck with something you don’t love?
Instead of trying to give it to a friend or family member, you can always regift to charity.
Most Regifted Christmas Gifts
While researching for this blog I came across most regifted Christmas gifts.
Take a close look- does it include something you gave or received?
If so please share your thoughts.
- A basket of smellies (35%)
- Scented candle (34%)
- Empty picture frame (29%)
- Beauty gift sets (25%)
- Box of chocolates (25%)
- Novelty mugs / cups (21%)
- Alcohol (18%)
- Socks (18%)
- Gift basket of food (17%)
- Novelty stationery (17%)
To conclude even if the gift isn’t your style or preference, it’s essential to acknowledge the age-old adage that it’s the thought that counts.
However, before you regift it onto a new recipient, send a thank-you note or verbally thank the person who gave it to you.
Remember that the average gift-giver thinks mostly about the initial reaction and not how the recipient will use or enjoy the gift long term. Choosing holiday gifts, birthday presents, and wedding gifts can be stressful for the original giver, and as the recipient, it’s your job to show a positive and grateful reaction.
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