Regifting leaves previous gifter, recipient unsatisfied; Regifting is beneficial when proper etiquette is used


Uma Kandallu and Calina He

As we approach the holiday season, many people frantically try to figure out what their friends and family would enjoy for gifts. Sometimes, the lack of money or time that we have catches up to us and we regift something we have already received. While this practice may prove to be an inexpensive and time-efficient option for the holiday season, gift-givers should not consider regifting.

We have all heard the phrase, “It’s the thought that counts,” but regifting overlooks that idea and sends an unclear message to both the new recipient and the previous gifter. To the previous gifter, regifting shows how unvalued their gift is. To the recipient, regifting shows you did not put much effort or thought into their gift.

The point of gifts is to strengthen personal connections between the gifter and the receiver, and the actual physical gift should not matter as much. Therefore, giving away something that was given to you is inconsiderate and defeats the purpose of gift-giving.

Imagine putting effort into a gift just to have the recipient give it to someone else. Clearly, watching someone give away something you spent so much time, money and thought on would make you upset. It might even lead you to question how much thought should be put into future gifts.

Even though there is an environmental benefit to reusing products, especially with larger and more expensive gifts, pawning them off to a friend or family member for the sake of saying you gave them a gift is not a valid reason. Often, people use this as an excuse for regifting, when they make no other efforts to benefit the environment. There is no justification for calling a present that was given to you a “gift” for others.

If you really do not have a need for a gift that others could potentially use, I advise you to find a way to make the gift more creative and personal, or to not give it to others as a gift. Other options include trying to be more creative and thoughtful as you buy or make gifts. A simple card or homemade item can say just as much, if not more, than a store-bought gift.

Simple gifts, such as photos and small items relating to inside jokes and memories, can also be much more meaningful than a gift card. Especially if money is a main concern, making a card and printing some pictures could prove to be one of the most thoughtful gifts. The amount of money one spends on a gift does not necessarily show how much effort one puts in. Rather, it is the motivation behind the gift, which can be seen through the creativity and personalization.

Keep in mind that after all, it is the thought that counts.

The views in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of the HiLite staff. Reach Calina He at [email protected]

During a Secret Santa one year, I received an item that I had previously given my Secret Santa for their birthday the past year. As awkward as that was, I gave them the benefit of the doubt in the hopes that it was an honest mistake. However, I later found out the gift had expired and that a half-baked attempt to hide the expiration date by coloring over it with a black marker had been made.

Ultimately, that experience definitely made me rethink the whole process of regifting.

With the holidays right around the corner, many people have begun their anxious searches for gifts. During this season, many people also consider the option of regifting, but debate whether or not it is impolite to do so. In honor of National Regifting Day on Dec. 18, we should embrace the benefits of finding new purposes for gifts.

As long as one follows basic etiquette, regifting can be beneficial for both the giver and the receiver. This etiquette involves only regifting items that have never been opened, used or expired. It also includes not giving the gift back to the original sender or regifting within the same social circles.

When I choose to regift, it’s either because the item is something more generic—for example, a gift card—or I think the receiver will gain more use and happiness out of the gift than I would.

  As long as one regifts with the intention and belief that the receiver will enjoy and find purpose in the gift, I think that regifting is wonderful. Regifting allows for another person to reap use and happiness from an item that would otherwise be in the trash or collecting dust. Just as regular gift giving brings happiness to the gifter, regifting can also make the giver happy knowing that the receiver will enjoy the item much more than they would have.

While some may say regifting is impersonal and takes away the thoughtfulness in giving gifts, regifting also involves thoughtful consideration of the receivers’ likes and dislikes. Often, there’s nothing inherently wrong with the gift you wish to regift; it just may have been something you already possess or it may be something that just did not fit your interests. You can make regifting about giving an item to someone who would genuinely enjoy it when you yourself would not, and not just about trying to get rid of something you don’t like. With this mindset, regifting is an amazing opportunity to spread joy during the holiday season.

At the end of the day, one man’s trash can truly become another man’s treasure.

The views in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of the HiLite staff. Reach Uma Kandallu at [email protected]