A continuous conversation and point of contention, regifting has earned a bad rep over the years. But is it really that terrible as it’s painted to be?
Related: THE CHRONIC LAST MINUTE CHRISTMAS SHOPPER’S GUIDE TO SURVIVING THE HOLIDAY RUSH
Even with the best and most sincere of intentions, not every gift given will be loved. Appreciated, sure. Accorded with gratitude? Definitely. But when backs are turned, the affection is quite the same. It could be an almost unnoticeable twitch of the lip or the immediate slipping of the present into a pile, but it happens—the intention will not equal the reception. And that’s okay, really. As clichéd as it sounds, it’s the thought that counts. Better than nothing at all, right?
It’s not always even unwanted, because there are cases of it being something you already have. So, what happens with those unwanted or well, abundance of generosity? While others would see the present through, maybe use it a few times before retiring it to oblivion, there will those with a more economical and efficient sense to pay it forward through regifting. At this point, you have most likely been triggered by the thought of being passed along a gift meant for someone else, dismissing it as tired, thoughtless, and just plain tacky, but is it really? Or have you been brainwashed by everyone saying it is?
Let’s level with this. There are rights and wrongs when it comes to regifting, but inherently, it isn’t bad just because a few have said it so. That is their opinion, not yours. Personally, whether it is a recycled present, I am still thankful, because we all know that giving gifts is always a challenge and more importantly, times are harder now. The mere fact that people still go out of their way to give gifts, speaks a whole lot of their generosity. Think of it this way: If they find no use for it, it is better to find a better place or person for it, lest it just gather dust or get thrown in the trash.
The picture painted with regifting has more to do with psychology than personal preference. If others didn’t say it was bad, would you actually think the same with something you received for whatever holiday or special occasion that you actually liked? Granted, you have to make sure you have thoughtfully considered it for some time and have absolutely no use for it (don’t just toss it for the sake of), you exercise regifting outside a few social circles to skip that whole awkward conversation between gifter, regifter, and regifted, and you steer clear of giving out anything personalized or monogrammed, but otherwise, you have to let your own free will do the thinking and deciding, not someone else. There’s a lot of stigma and taboo that come with it, when perhaps all it was some person who hated the gift someone gave them and decided no one else should like it. Now, who’s the real Scrooge or Grinch here?
When regifting, make sure to rewrap it nicely and write a heartfelt note apart from the usual to and from—it’s the very least you can do. Besides, unless it is fitted specifically to the person, you should have no more business with what the person wants to do with their gift. It’s like the gift that gives (not to be confused with giving, which might suggest a continuous case of a present being passed along as a regift), going to someone that truly deserves it more than others. Not all gifts will be perfect, but taking out the physical, all that’s left is the personal affectation. And if someone has taken the time to extend generosity, sharing something special regardless, then honestly, that’s the real gift right there.
Warm your icy heart a little, no one needs a gatekeeper of gifting. It is Christmas after all.