It happens every year when we get what we don’t like or want. It’s a grand old tradition we all practice, but pretend not to do — we re-gift presents. Before passing on a gift you don’t want to another person, here are five rules on what can and can’t be re-gifted and how to do it without getting caught.
1. Keep people’s taste in mind — Don’t pass along an item to get rid of it, put thought into re-gifting. The fuzzy-purple scarf that you received may not be your style, but you may be able to think of the right person who can rock it. Same rule applies with gift baskets. Don’t pass on a cheese basket to a co-worker whose eating habits you are not familiar with. They may be lactose intolerant. Instead, bring an unwanted food basket to a party to share.
2. No hand-me downs please — Be considerate. Don’t give something you’ve owned for a while. The person can and will recognize the flower vase from your living room or the knit sweater you’ve been trying to get out of your closet. Used clothes, CDs, DVDs and books are a big no-no and should not be passed off as a gifts, either. Instead, try to swap or trade the items.
3. Don’t mention it — Sincerity is a great quality to have, but now is not the time to come clean. Don’t get me wrong — I’m not telling you to lie. Just don’t blab to your co-worker or friend about the ugly scarf you received and then give it to them.
4. Rewrap — Crinkled wrapping paper with extra tape to keep it together is a dead giveaway the present is being re-gifted. So, don’t forget to change the wrapping paper. In a past blog post I shared five creative ways to wrap a gift that you can try.
5. Keep track of who gave it to you — The last thing you want is to upset someone during the holidays, so make sure re-gift recipient doesn’t know the person who gave it to you in the first place. Be smart about re-gifting to avoid awkward situations.