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What is your opinion of regifting?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on December 22, 2005

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Photo of Janie Schneider

“If the person you’re giving it to and the person that gave it to you don’t know, then I don’t see any harm in it.”

Photo of Larry Pellman

“I guess if it’s something that you don’t want and think someone else could use, then why not?”

Photo of Jared Grendahl

“I’ve never regifted. I think that it’s definitely rude to the person that gave it to you.”

Photo of Hilary Glynn

“I would say that if you are going to regift, just don’t get caught.”


Richard Heckler 12 years, 5 months ago

It's all about sharing and parting with items you don't want or need. The thought is what mattered in the first place not the gift. Go for it.

enochville 12 years, 5 months ago

It is ok if: 1) the people don't know each other. 2) the gift is not something the original giver will notice that you don't have it anymore. 3) the gift was not home made. You would not want to give away a homemade sweater, etc. 4) the receiver won't be able to tell that their present is a regift.

Redneckgal 12 years, 5 months ago

I've been really tempted a couple of times but I just couldn't bring myself to do it.

Kathleen Christian 12 years, 5 months ago

It is the thought that counts not the gift itself. People are so materialistic these days they seem to forget what the whole concept of gift giving.

mwfields 12 years, 5 months ago

I would feel guilty about the regifting. I would rather keep the crappy gift and not hurt the giver's feelings. However something could be said if I donated the gift I received to the Salvation Army or Goodwill. Just a thought.

classclown 12 years, 5 months ago

Isn't that what fruitcake is for? The gift that keeps on giving right? Something for people to pass around like a hot potato. And the person that ends up with it on Christmas day has to hold on to it for a year until the cycle resumes.

neopolss 12 years, 5 months ago

This year, more than ever, I have heard about regifting. Since when did this become an acceptable habit? And now people are talking about regifting like it's the newest trend! Regifiting needs to remain the untalked about holiday secret. No one wants to know that they got a second hand gift. That basically says, "I put no thought into your gift - here's some crap from my closet I don't want."

Take your bad gifts to Goodwill or something.

trinity 12 years, 5 months ago

i pretty much agree with neo; and i wonder too when/where this "regift" concept became so trendy. must have been some popular sitcom or something...

badger 12 years, 5 months ago

My family gave me ugly sweaters, every year, for probably ten or twelve years. Seriously ugly. Shiny, fuzzy, patchwork, or orange cable knit, they had appliqued birds and on one occasion, fringe.

I had a standard policy that I'd hold on to each one for three years, so that if mom asked, I could say, "Oh, of course I still have the sweater Grandma gave me last year!" Cause there was no telling Grandma, "Um, I'll get beat up if I wear this in public..."

I would never regift those sweaters. I gave them to the Salvation Army, to inflict on homeless people.

However, I have received a lot of stuff over the years that I can't use and don't have space for. If I'd just give it to the Salvation Army anyway, and I (this is key) really think that the person I'm thinking of giving it to will use and enjoy it, and it's never been out of the box, why not?

A gift is simply an item given that conveys the notion that you were thinking about someone. Bought, made, regifted, as long as you took the time to think about what someone would really like, I don't think it matters.

Centrist 12 years, 5 months ago

The idea of gift-giving is that you made an "effort" to go get something, or make something, for someone. It's the ultimate cheapskate trick to "re-gift". For gawd's sake, if money is tight, go spend $5 at the Dollar Store at least!!

canyon_wren 12 years, 5 months ago

Regifting is awkward, but so is donating something to the local thrift shop in a small town, where the giver might run across it. I personally do not like a lot of "stuff" and am always trying to clear out, so I am glad that I only get gifts from family members or close friends who usually know what I need or want. It would be a better thing for our society (maybe not our economy!) if folks would "gear down" with the gift giving--not spend so much or give so "widely." (Especially since giving things to others doesn't necessarily reflect true friendship or affection in today's world!) But that's not going to happen.

I have regifted along the way and I agree that it is a good form of recycling. I keep a box marked "small gift items" into which I put things I receive that would work for unanticipated gifts. But for those to whom I ordinarily give things, I usually pick out and buy something that's just right, if possible.

Kathleen Christian 12 years, 5 months ago

Re-gifting is not necessialy a bad gift. It can be for fun, it can be something you recieved that you'll never use but you have a family member or friend who would love to have it. It is shameful if a person who is regifting is giving the gift just to get rid of it - then there is no thought in it or at least not a postive thought anyway. I have had some wonderful regifts from family and from church women's group - in fact I was lucky to receive an ugly golf mug that had been regifted for 10 years and of course the following year I regifted it to someone else. It is all in how you look at it. Be optimistic, don't you be a grumpy.

querulousperson 12 years, 5 months ago

since when is this a (buzz)word? shouldn't it be "regiving"? i've been thoroughly annoyed by the term since i first heard it this fall. plus, it's immoral.

craigers 12 years, 5 months ago

Just because it is a regift doesn't mean that the second person that gets it won't like it. If I don't like something I will try to give it away rather than throw it away. Somebody ought to get some use out of the stuff. No harm, no foul. Just use the guidelines like enochville mentioned above.

Linda Endicott 12 years, 5 months ago

I liked your story,'s wonderful that you both have a good sense of humor, and this has become one of your personal Christmas traditions...if only more people were like that...

Best advice about regifting? If you think it might hurt someone's feelings, don't do's not worth it. If you think no one will mind, go for it.

By the way, does anyone ever really use those little baskets of shaped soaps and stuff? Or are the same ones simply recycled every year?

gccs14r 12 years, 5 months ago

For those of you for whom re-gifting is a new concept, in the Commonwealth it's called Boxing Day. You may have seen it on a calendar.

rhd99 12 years, 5 months ago

If regifting can mean exchanging, it is not a bad thing. The one rule of regifting we ALL need to remember is this: It's a last resort. The only time regifting should be done is if YOU have that item already. This happened to me where I got the same book I had for a while as a gift, & I had to exchange. Is that a bad thing?

badger 12 years, 5 months ago

Centrist said:

"The idea of gift-giving is that you made an "effort" to go get something, or make something, for someone. It's the ultimate cheapskate trick to "re-gift". For gawd's sake, if money is tight, go spend $5 at the Dollar Store at least!!"

So, it's better to go spend whatever on some cheap garbage that you don't really know if someone will like in the name of 'effort' than it is to give someone an item you already had that's never been used, that you know they will absolutely love?

That makes no sense to me, but then again, the holidays and the gift-giving process aren't so much about what I spend, but about giving people things that I really think they'll like having.

My family does something one could consider 'regifting'. For the last several years, each year my grandmother has given me and my sister something that was given to her and my grandfather as a wedding or anniversary gift. The items are chose based on what she thinks we'll use and enjoy (my sister got fifty-year-old crystal wineglasses last year, and I received the handmade linen tablecloth my great-great-grandmother had given her). In part she does this because she cannot get out to shop, but she also does it in part because she wants to pass on her own history and traditions to her grandchildren.

All you people saying, "Yeah, whatever, just go buy something, anything, just so you put some effort into it," are really missing it.

Ceallach 12 years, 5 months ago

If regifting means wrapping something and presenting it as a gift you purchased, made, etc., for the recipient then I do not and would not do it. The don't get caught, or be sneaky enough that no one will know mentality is typical of the civil degeneration of our society. I certainly have given away items that were previously given to me. But it is given in the spirit of "You may need this and can put it to better use than I."

Usually when I give a friend or family member a gift I am "guessing" that it is something they will like. If it is not I have no problem with them giving it to someone who will make use it. The problems arise when people are dishonest about passing the gift on to someone else -- if discovered you will have hurt two people by your self-centeredness. It's not worth it to me.

KsTwister 12 years, 5 months ago

don't ask,don't tell. I will bet that everyone has received a hand me down that was never worn or a toy that was not played with at least once in their lifetime----and no ill effects because of it. My best Christmas was a 12 string guitar (expensive but used) that was given me by my father when I was 16. I still have it---it is still the best even next to my Les Paul.

Staci Dark Simpson 12 years, 5 months ago

Regifting is fun! My group of friends and I have a white elephant party every year. Its really fun. One of my friends got a New Kids on the Block CD and really liked it. Reusing is better than letting unused stuff pile in your closet. I would never regift something homeade, but if someone is broke I tell them don't get me anything. If they have to get me something I just tell them homeade cookies are priceless. Regifting isn't about being materialistic. If you were materialistic you would hoard it in your closet just in case you needed it in the next 10 years. Merry Christmas all!

canyon_wren 12 years, 5 months ago

Great comments, badger!

I think "gifting" and "regifting" are both stupid terms. Too bad we think we need to invent words for which there are perfectly good ones in use already.

The few things I "regift" are not junk things--those go to the thrift shop right away. They are things that a lot of people use (like dish towel sets, etc., which seem often to be the gift of choice from slight acquaintances who have a strong need to get me something) that I don't use. I figure that some folks out there must love them, so I don't feel too guilty about passing them along to other folks I don't know very well if the situation comes up.

In that category falls the collection of small soaps that someone mentioned. I hate things like that cluttering up the bathroom, but SOMEONE must like them, somewhere?!

killjoy 12 years, 5 months ago

I felt bad because I had a regift...till I met a person who had no gift.

Dixie Jones 12 years, 5 months ago

laughing here at topekas comment ,, and neo i so agree... a gift has to have thought and care put behind it ..regifting is like spining in a chair and throwing a dart at something and saying ahh ha thats what im giving dear ole aunt edna who always takes so much time and energy into making sure my gift is so we thought ..TACKY TACKY TACKY people ...

ms_canada 12 years, 5 months ago

Just a comment about the website OMB mentioned about Boxing Day. Yes, it is one of our Statuatory holidays here in Canada. And I always thought it was of British origin and thought it was the day when the wealthy British gave all of their servants a boxed gift. Re: regifting, what a stupid thing to get your knickers in a knot about. It is one of those things that must be preceded by the words, It Depends. We are not a family of gifters, so I don't have a lot of gifts old or new around. I have some stuff around the house that I have purchased over the years or may have received as a gift that are of very good quality that I no longer use but do value. I would feel perfectly fine about giving something like that to someone who I feel would value it also. I am getting on in years and have been thinking about ridding myself and my house of some stuff I have several young friends and I have designated certain items to go to these ladies when I pass on to my reward. Then I got to thinking, why wait until I die, why not give them now. I am talking about quality items like my collection of crystal candle holders. (22 of them) This is not really regifting, but sort of.

Hong_Kong_Phooey 12 years, 5 months ago

Aside from the superb question posed by the folks at the Journal World, have any of you noticed that the KU Men's Basketball team sucks this year? Have you also noticed that the KU WOMEN'S Basketball team is 9-0 and about to tie a school record? Maybe people should skip the men's games and go to the women's instead...

beatrice 12 years, 5 months ago

It was kind of Aiko to give me a buffalo head as a gift, but it doesn't exactly fit my decor. I then gave it to TOB because I know he is into that sort of thing -- as both a decoration and as a prop. I see no harm in this type of exchange among friends.

Giving an STD is certainly not an example of regifting, because the gifter keeps ahold of the gift after "sharing" it with others. Kind of like being given a box of chocolate and then sharing it with others -- they get some and you get to keep some. As Forest Gump says: "Sex-life is like a box of chocolates -- you never know what disease you're gonna get."

badger 12 years, 5 months ago

canyon_wren said:

"In that category falls the collection of small soaps that someone mentioned. I hate things like that cluttering up the bathroom, but SOMEONE must like them, somewhere?!"

My stepmother. She loves them. If she doesn't get any for Christmas, she goes out and buys them at the after-Christmas sales. She has at least two sets for every holiday and season for every counter in her house.

Some years ago, I gave her one with a little cloth bunny and a wicker basket. Whenever I have gone to stay there for a visit, she has the bunny basket out in the guest bathroom attached to the room I stay in. According to my Dad, she makes sure that she puts it out especially so I see it, even if it's not the right season for the bunny basket (which I assume is spring?), and she buys new matching soaps when the ones in it get used up. I think it's kind of sweet, though I wouldn't be offended if she had out a different basket.

Of course, she also has twelve different dish towel sets, one for each month, and a vast collection of inexplicable things made of raffia and ribbon that she hangs on her walls. I look with confusion at the raffia concoction adorned with red velvet ribbon and fake fur, the one that looks like a cherry donut in a red hat, and she breezily chimes, "Why, it's Santa! Don't you love Santa decorations"?

Usually, I just wander her house looking a little alarmed at the Rorschach Raffia, and commiserate with my father, who is not particularly into cheery holiday decorations.

italianprincess 12 years, 5 months ago

Regifting isn't to wrong if you know the person really liked something you had and wished they also had one. I have a g/f who loved the gift I got for my Bday this month, so I'm going to give it to her for Christmas.


The guy who hit my son the other morning has 6 counts being brought up against him and he was on probation already. If I have my way about it he will be going away for quite sometime.

bearded_gnome 12 years, 5 months ago

"hong-yong" after I eat fruitcake, that's how I feel! Hong, yong!

bearded_gnome 12 years, 5 months ago

Badger: those really are bad sweaters! you say you give them to the wanna make it harder for them to move outa homelessness? yich!

why was your family so determined to give such sweaters? fringe...cable knit, orange, scenes...oh, the inhumanity! rather a form of abuse, sounds to me! or, were they really angry at you trying to settle an old score?

on the monterey peninsula, there are two brothers who own competing car dealerships. their christmas gifts are legeand! started, first year, one brother ordered an entire dump truck of rocks delivered and dumped on his brother's front lawn, for christmas. next year, second brother had a truckload delivered to brother 1, only this time the truck was load with manuer (also known as "beef biproduct).
now, one of them is the U.S. congressman for that district...yeah, a democrat. weehee. t

Dixie Jones 12 years, 5 months ago

I.P how did someone hit your son? in a car or with a fist???

Bill Chapman 12 years, 5 months ago

To all of those who think regifting is wrong: If I had kept ALL the gifts that I could not use, did not want, etc.; I would have had to rent at least two storage units just to store them! My family has a nasty habit of giving some of the most useless, unpractical gifts they can find (or worse - make).

By the way those sweaters with the fringe really suck! I know - I get them from one of my grandmothers. She likes to make the fringe about 3-4 inches long and usually puts it on the waist and the arms. She tried putting it at wrist one year; but after being forced to wear the thing, I got the wrist fringe into the stuffing and pudding during X-mas supper.

MyName 12 years, 5 months ago

The only kind of thing I've ever regifted is books. It's like, you read a book once or twice and then you're never going to read it again, but it's still in good shape. I don't think there's anything cheap about that, unless it's a beat up book or something, and it actually gives you something to talk about with the person. Assuming they actually get around to reading the book.

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