To Gift Or Regift: That Is My Question

I have a serious dilemma.

As I've grown older, I'm starting to wonder what to do with all of the stuff I have. I definitely need to downsize at some point, but I honestly don't know where to begin.

I have so many things that I've never used, and frankly I'm not sure how I even got some of it. If you didn't already assume, I have issues about saving and collecting too many things (see steinersports.com). I know it isn't normal.

But I also love to send out gifts. I get so much joy out of it. The book "Giftology" by John Ruhlin is a personal favorite of mine for this reason.

My problem is that regifting gets a bad wrap.

regift (v) - give (an unwanted gift that one has received) to someone else as a gift.

Not all regifts are equal though!

My son's birthday recently passed and I sent him a few gifts. To be honest, some of them were regifts. I felt a little guilty about it.

But these gifts weren't originally something I didn't necessarily want. They were gifts I just never took the time to fully appreciate and find a use for. There was a cool shaving kit bag and an expensive sweatshirt from Ballr; a high end European apparel company.

I felt they would be better suited for him. He would use the bag and wear the sweatshirt more than I would, and he probably would enjoy them more too.

From my perspective, I feel like these gifts were a selfless act on my part! I think my gesture should be on an even higher level of gift giving.

See, I could have used those gifts for myself. However, I felt they would be better suited for him. What is wrong with that?

Sure, there is always that gift you get at your wedding that you have zero use for. You will probably end up giving that useless gift to someone else as a wedding gift, and they probably have no use for either, and so it goes.

Those types of gifts should have a different name, because I think they're entirely different.

My goal is to change the perception of the regift and give it a whole new meaning. There's definitely a stigma surrounding the regift, and it doesn't make sense to me. Regifts can be a good thing if they are useful to the recipient and are something they would want.

You should be grateful for any gift you get; regift or not!

I do have two questions for you though:

1. Do you need to declare to the recipient that your gift to them is a regift?

2. If you find out someone gave you a regift, should you care?

Leave your thoughts below.


2 comments


  • I’m on the “no” side of the re-gift question. when you get something you can’t use, give it to someone who can -at that time. Whenyou give a gift for an occasion, it should be something you thought about specifically for the recipient and chose.
    your son would have appreciated the sweatshirt when you received it and would probably be grateful that you thought to share your good fortune.

    jim on

  • 1) Depends on recipient.
    2) No, be glad they are practical and thrifty!
    Those who grew up with depression era parents, who repurposed everything, look at regifting as a part of life; my mom had a “gift” closet full of regifting items. If it bothers you, donate it or regift it back to them if they have a sense of humor! I often rewrapped the same gift my dad was “saving” til his other wore out (robe, slippers, etc.) and gave it to him again asking, “do you already have one of those?”

    S. Reese on

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