two wrapped presents on a table Photo: Unsplash

Do you really need all those gifts you got? Do you even like them all? Well, not to worry, you can re-gift, just make sure to do it right, here is A Guide To Re-gifting Without Remorse!

You can’t stand the sight of the green vase your friend gave you for Christmas, even though you pulled off an Academy Award-winning performance when you opened it in front of her. But now you’re left with a horrid gift that you really don’t want to decorate your house with. Then a naughty thought comes to mind: would it really be a bad idea if you recycled it? No, not recycled the actual glass, but recycled the gift to someone else, which is also known as re-gifting. You could easily pretend you had bought the vase for a different friend, someone who you know would appreciate the bright pattern more.

It’s good for the earth!

Here’s something that will make you feel a little less guilty for having re-gifted in the past. From an eco-friendly perspective, re-gifting could be seen in a positive light. Instead of throwing away a gift that is in perfectly good condition, thus contributing to the world’s waste, you are giving the gift a new lease on life. The gift can also be used in a more productive way (that terrible vase could be a way for someone to add some decorative flash to their home without having to purchase something themselves from the store), instead of being stashed away in a cupboard at your home.

How to re-gift in a good way:

From an etiquette point of view, however, re-gifting does come with some downsides or risks. If you have forgotten the card from the initial giver inside the gift, that’s extremely embarrassing! The new gift recipient will know that you didn’t seek out an original, thoughtful gift for them but merely recycled your second-rate goods. It can also be seen as rude to give your friend something that you simply don’t like; it’s as though you can’t be bothered to go out and buy them something with your own money. But you can get the best of both worlds. In order to find a suitable way of dealing with your unwanted gift in the spirit of eco-friendliness while also re-gifting in a way that is not rude or tacky, there are some tips you can follow:

a minimalist christmas tree
Photo: Unsplash


Make it tactful

Here’s where you make sure the original gift card is not stuck to the gift, bearing your name in bold letters! But it’s also ensuring tact on an emotional level. Instead of simply re-wrapping the gift for your friend and pretending that you bought it specifically for her, you could try being honest with her about the gift’s origins. Don’t say something like ‘I hate this gross thing, so do you want it?’ because the recipient will just feel like you’re handing them your unwanted goods. You could rather openly ask your friend if they would like the green vase that does not cater to your personal taste or doesn’t match your home.

Also, ensure that your friend would appreciate the gift beforehand. Don’t just offer it to them in a wishy-washy fashion. The whole point of a gift is to show that you were thinking of your friend, so make sure you have a strong hunch that your friend would actually want the gift.

Don’t give it away after you’ve used it!

Re-gifting might be a type of recycling, but it’s not the same as using a water bottle and then tossing it out where it can be used in a new way. If you received a dress as a gift that you wore once and then decided you didn’t like it, it’s not a good idea to wash it, wrap it up and re-gift it to someone else.

This comes across as tacky and unfair to the person receiving the gift. If you’re going to pretend that the gift is something you personally chose for your friend, then make sure that your gift remains sparkly, new and unused. It’s only fair. Ask yourself: would you want someone else’s hand-me-downs that were already worn or used?

Sell the gift for cash Sometimes a much better way to avoid the etiquette and moral issue of re-gifting is to sell the unwanted gift on eBay and then use the cash you receive to buy your friend a more thoughtful gift. In this way, you put the unwanted gift to good use, you save money and you don’t have to risk getting caught out for re-gifting!

So what can you re-gift and what shouldn’t you re-gift? The all-rounders, like that coffee mug you got from your secret Santa at work, that you really don’t need for the office or home. Package it up with some coffee beans and give it to a coffee lover.

a woman pouring a cup of coffee into a white mug

Chocolates, smelly candles and bath salts you can also give year-round. Things that are timeless and things that you simply don’t need. Package these up for a tired mom as a pamper package and away you go. A wine that you don’t drink, package it up with a pretty ribbon and give it to a hostess that you know will enjoy it.

Related Post: Natural Remedies To Help You Through The Holidays  

A few other rules: Presentation is key, be creative; Make a note of who you gave the gift too; don’t regift if it has sentimental value – (a sweater knitted by granny); give it to charity; don’t regift to your inner circle; If it’s a book, make sure you look inside to make sure there are no written personal messages; Perfume is another great re-gift idea, leave all the plastic wrapping etc on it though; Vases are another great gift, you have received flowers and don’t want to keep the vase, fill it with flowers, wrap it up and add a bow, its a great gift for pretty much any woman and any occasion; Should you own up to regifting? 

It’s really a personal choice. After all, it’s the thought that counts. I’d love to know your thoughts? Have you ever re-gifted?  


A Guide To Re-gifting Without Remorse

Candice Batista

Candice Batista is an award winning Environmental Journalist and one of Canada’s leading eco advocates. Her career spans national and international media outlets, where she has used her background in environmental studies and media & communications to produce and report on various environmental and climate issues for primarily television and digital audiences including Huffington Post, The Globe & Mail, The Weather Network, CityTV, Rogers Television, The Pet Network, iChannel, and CTV, where she is currently the National Eco Expert for the stations number 1 daytime talk show, The Marilyn Denis Show.
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