Thanks! I, um, love it?

A Christmas Story

Whether it is your anniversary, birthday or holiday time, you are always going to get that one gift you which makes you wonder if the gift-giver has any idea who you are? (Think A Christmas Story, Aunt Clara and the bunny suit) So, what do you do with the fabulous present?

Follow the Rules

When you follow the re-gifting rules, you don’t have to do anything but receive a heartfelt “Thank you!

Rules? Yes, just like every other gift-giving event, re-gifting has its proper place. It is not cheap. It is not rude. It is not horrible. Seriously?

It is the thought that counts.”

Think about what goes into buying a gift. The average gifter buys something they would love to have. They give it to someone else out of emotion compounded by their own being enamored with the gift.

The hard part is when the re-gifter receives this heartfelt gift in the first place. The re-gifter must be gracious and thank the giver for the gift.

World Calendar

The next step is checking the calendar for the first opportunity to return the gift.

What NOT To Do

Rather than drag out the unwanted gift when the giver comes to call, re-gift it to the giver. Apparently, she liked it or she wouldn’t have bought it!

At a Tempe, Arizona holiday party Leslie didn'...

Image via Wikipedia

Follow The Steps

So here is the step-by-step on re-gifting:

1. Receive the unwanted gift with grace and thanks.

2. Always re-gift to the giver. If this person is not a trained re-gifter, explain. So much thought went into choosing the gift, it would be unfair for the gift to be wasted by you.

Gift Box

3. Never re-gift to someone who did not buy the gift. This is the mistake of the beginning re-gifter. Chances are one of two situations arise:

  • The new recipient knows the origin of the re-gift.
  • An acquaintance of the new recipient knows the origin of the re-gift.

4. Be sure to tell your recipients (before the package is opened) if they do not like the gift, you would certainly love it back. Unfortunately, these are not the gifts which are usually re-gifted.

5. Do not have your feelings hurt when a trained re-gifter re-gifts your gift to you. They are not going to deceive you into believing they really liked it or return it for money.

No Harm! No Foul!

Re-gifting is not a bad thing if you put your heart into choosing a gift in the first place. Now, if you just bought the first thing on the rack at the truck-stop on the way into town, don’t be surprised when it is re-gifted to you!


What is the most bizarre gift you have ever gotten?
Did you give it back, away or return it?


(c) Ann Marie Dwyer 2011
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  1. James Parsons

     /  November 30, 2011

    I have never re-gifted in my entire life, I wouldn’t dream of it. I don’t think it bad, or mean, just wouldn’t think of doing it. Great article though. Keep them coming Red.

    • Oh, our whole family does it. We have some sisters-in-law whose only taste is in their mouths. We constantly give their gifts back. And they don’t mind because they liked it or they would not have bought it in the first place!!

  2. awarewriter

     /  November 30, 2011

    I wore them. The gift wasn’t bizarre but the situation was very funny. My mother-in-law is a nice lady, generous but not imaginative. She gave me T-shirts almost every year for my birthday. One year when Erin and Sue were little girls and we were sitting in Jimmy’s apartment (Jim is my brother-in-law and his birthday is the day before mine). The girls marched into the living room with a wrapped present.

    “Happy Birthday Daddy. This is from grandmom — it’s probably T-shirts.”

    Well, it was very funny at the time, especially since we all pretended not to hear.

    Probably the most bizarre gift we ever received was the incense burner from my brother Michael. He and Joe showed up on Christmas morning just about the time Tracy and I were headed for bed. He was all excited and set the thing up on the washer and fired it up. No we didn’t re-gift it and I have no clue what happened to it.

    Mom was still living with my sister just down the street. We got rid of Michael and Joe so we could go to bed by sending them to visit mom. She was not amused but bore with them. Back then, you could always count on Michael and Joe to be drunk, clueless and always late.


  3. I’ve re-gifted…but only items I TRULY love! I can’t imagine giving a gift BACK to a person. I feel like this would be offensive?

    • It is all in the presentation. Momma collects Papa Noels. I collect nutcrackers. One year, I found this astounding Papa Noel with a string of three nutcrackers hanging out of his toy bag. I adored it. When I handed Momma the present, I told her, “If you do not love it, I want it back.” That one happened to be one she kept, but has promised it to me in her will.

      With the right attitude, there is no offense in it. I would much prefer someone give me something I gave them back if they are not as thrilled about it as I obviously was.

      Except clothes. But not much worry in that for me…I do not know anyone on my gift list who is my size 🙂

  4. bear

     /  December 1, 2011

    WOW I guess I have to take back the antennas I got you for Christmas! So much for my shopping at the Pilot. Great article RED!

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