A friend, who also happens to read this blog, recently asked me to do a post on re-gifting. The holidays are quickly approaching, after all, and she wanted to know when re-gifting is OK and when it’s just, well, tacky.
My personal opinion is that re-gifting is acceptable if the person who originally gave you the gift won’t find out that you gave it to someone else. I think it would be tacky if my Aunt Pat gave me a sweater, and then I turned around and gave it to my Aunt Deb. If I gave it to my friend Kandy, whom my aunt doesn’t know and will probably never meet, that’s OK.
After writing that down though, it seems kind of deceptive. Why is re-gifting OK only if the giver doesn’t find out about it? What do you say if Aunt Pat asks if you ever wear the sweater she gave you? Do you lie? I’m really not big on lying.
Is re-gifting wrong all together? I don’t think that’s the answer either. If you have received a present that you can’t return, and you aren’t going to use it, the frugal thing to do would be to pass it on. And the person you give the gift to doesn’t need to know that it was originally a gift for you. If you’re truly giving the gift with the sense that it will make the person receiving the gift happy, there’s no shame in giving a re-gifted present.
Since I know this is a touchy subject with many strong opinions, I’m encouraging you all to comment and let me (and my friend) know what you think. Bring on the re-gifting debate! :)