Wednesday, December 20, 2006

It's The Thought That Counts...

It's that time of year again...Christmas is almost upon us and with it, all the pressures that come with it to get the perfect gift for everyone on your list. The truth is though that your friends and loved ones may not love the gifts you've chosen.

Sometimes they'll open the gift, it’s not exactly what they expected or even something they wanted and after they feign excitement for the obligatory amount of time, what do they do with it?

Well, if they're like most Americans, they regift or pass the less than stellar present on to someone else who might enjoy it more.

Wikipedia defines regifting as the act of taking a gift that has been received and giving it to somebody else in the guise of a new gift.

The term was coined on an episode of Seinfeld called "The Label Maker" in which Elaine calls someone a "regifter" after they give Jerry a label-maker that was originally given to them by her.

If you have ever watched "A Christmas Story" you know that Ralphie received one of the worst gifts a young boy could ever bunny rabbit pajamas. I wonder if they regifted it?

Which brings me to the question...Is it okay to regift?

Heres some tips in case you're stuck with a recyclable gift this year:

1. No Guilt Necessary

According the President of Ethics at Work, "There is no reason to feel guilty for regifting. The purpose of giving a gift is to give pleasure, to bring joy to someone's life. If for example you already own a copy of the 'Godfather' collection and you know that someone else would like to have it, what's the point in keeping it? It would be wasteful."

Once a gift is given, it's the recipient's to do with as they wish, whether it be returning it or regifting it. Another etiquette expert we spoke to said people are not required to keep something they don't need or like. Good etiquette doesn't require you to keep anything, just that you are grateful when you receive it.

2. Obligation To Regift

Not only is it okay to regift, some experts say there are times you are morally obligated to regift.

For example, if someone gives you an article of clothing or food that you don't want or don't need but that someone else could benefit from such as a homeless person or a shelter, it's not only a good thing to give it to the shelter, you ought to give it to the shelter. As a bonus, if you do give it to a charity, you may be eligible for a tax deduction.

3. Rules Of Regifting

If you plan on regifting, do it with a gift you recently received, in other words, the sooner the better. Otherwise you may forget who gave it to you in the first place and could end up giving the gift back to the original giver.

Also, make sure you give the gift to someone who won't possibly run into the first person. It would be terribly embarrassing if your mother-in-law saw the one of a kind, handmade sweater she gave you on another relative.

The gift should be in its original condition and do your best to remove the evidence by taking off all the original gift tags!

4. Consider The Recipient

Naturally, if you're regifting, be casual. You don't want to give the recipient the impression you bought the item, spent a lot of time looking for it, picking it out and ordering it.

If the guilt is too much, you may want to be honest with the person you are giving the gift to. You can say "I received this sweater, but am allergic to the fabric and I thought you might like it."

When you're giving the gift out of season for example, not during the holidays or not around one's birthday it is probably fair to tell the person you are regifting so you don't unfairly obligate them to give you a gift in return.

5. Accepting The Regift

A tip for the giftee: if you suspect you are being given a re-gift, never make mention of it.

If you receive something you're not thrilled with, consider donating it or passing it on to someone you really think would appreciate it or try selling it on eBay.

Merry Christmas and remember it's the thought that counts...

Frivolous Fun: Name That Christmas Song Quiz


Blogger Lethal_Dad said...

I got all 15 right! not to shabby!

20/12/06 23:31  
Anonymous fidelio said...

Regifting is as much a holiday tradition as putting up the Christmas tree. Pass those horrible gifts on to someone more ummm deserving. LOL!

Got 13 out of 15 on the quiz!

21/12/06 07:58  
Anonymous reverse_vampyr said...

"Feign excitement for the obligatory amount of time" Funny!

I'd say donate it if you don't like it, but then things get awkward when Aunt Edna asks why you don't wear that beautiful sweater she gave you and then wants you to try it on so she can see it on you.

21/12/06 09:26  
Anonymous Dr. Rusty Shackleford said...

You are right - it's the thought that counts, but I am guilty of regifting. I'll get rid of that crummy gift in a heartbeat. Useless appliances, ugly clothing and questionable knick-knacks all passed on that relative or co-worker at the bottom of my Christmas list!

14 out of 15 on the quiz! Damn!

21/12/06 10:40  
Anonymous Beehive Hairdresser said...

Ralphie rocks! Although I am not a big fan of the regift, at least when it occurs to me, other than that I'm all for it.

Didn't do so hot on the quiz, the other comments silently mock me with their high scores. Damn them!

21/12/06 13:41  
Anonymous Frank The Crank said...

If someone gives me a present they better include the receipt because I want to know how much they spent and where to return it for cash.

21/12/06 15:22  
Anonymous jumpmaster said...

I like that post. I never knew that's what it was called. Thanks!

21/12/06 15:39  
Blogger Dylan (aka Rowena) said...

I don't like to regift because I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings so I keep all the gifts I get, for me, it's the thought that counts.

21/12/06 15:41  
Anonymous julie said...

I don't do the regifting thing either, but I do have a pile of stuff that I have been given that I have no use for or don't like.

One of the last options, donating them, sounds like a good idea though.

21/12/06 16:03  
Anonymous Season said...

I don't think regifting is right unless you donate it. I wouldn't want someone elses crappy gift. Chances are if you are regifting, it was a really bad present to begin with.

21/12/06 18:26  
Blogger Tracy said...

OK OK - I have to chime in on the re-gifting. I think there are appropriate times to re-gift and I have done it. Don't think of it as giving someone a crappy gift - you might re-gift something nice.

A couple of years ago I was on a tight budget for Christmas - at work I won a $25 gift card for Red Lobster in a company sponsered gift exchange. I gave the gift card to my sister and brother-in-law as their Christmas gift. They love Red Lobster and financially it helped me out. I don't feel bad about it and I think I told them, if not, I don't mind if she reads this and knows now. I personally think that you can re-gift to someone you know if the gift is nice and maybe just something you won't use or already have. I don't think you should re-gift crappy gifts to someone you know. Other than that, unwanted gifts, for whatever reason, should be donated....even if they are from Aunt Edna.

22/12/06 15:56  
Blogger Digital Fortress said...

I've never actually regifted anyone, but the concept seems okay to me. I'm grateful for anything I get for free! :)

Donating it is probably the best way to go for something you don't want, like or have a use for in my opinion.

22/12/06 17:09  
Blogger Taryn said...

I have to agree with Season on the regifting. If you don't want the gift, why would someone else.

I scored a perfect score on the Christmas Quiz!!!!

22/12/06 17:57  

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