Posted by:
Anne Zimmerman

Anne Zimmerman

July 6, 2015

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Regifting Rules

Let’s be honest. We all engage in regifting from time to time. And right or wrong, the office is an ideal spot to unload all of those candles, bottles of lotion, and tins full of hazelnut coffee that you got from well-meaning aunties, neighbors, or old friends who clearly don’t really know you (if they did they’d give you a better gift!).

But there are rules for regifting. Here, a few things to keep in mind before you palm your unwanted presents off on your co-workers.

Do not confuse regifting with refreshing your wardrobe. Your cousin sends you a wooly green scarf. You hate green, but your office friend loves green, loves scarves, and is cold all the time. Rewrap and regift! Do not, however, clean out your closet and decide to give your office mate the green scarf your cousin gave you two winters ago that you are tired of wearing. This is not okay.

Never give away something someone may have seen you use. Feel free to regift the pretty paperweight your aunt gave you that is simply not your style. But do not put said paperweight on your desk, let it hold down papers for a few weeks, and then wrap it up and give it to someone as a gift.

Keep it on the DL. It’s just fine to pass along the scented candle that smells like cinnamon but kind of makes you woozy. But please don’t tell the receptionist that the candle gives you a headache—which is why you’re giving it to her.

Ramp up your regift. Your brother, who lives in another state, gave you a mug painted with polka dots and squiggles. It is sooo not you, but it does remind you of the cheery HR girl who works just down the hall. Wrap it up and include a gift certificate for the coffee cart or a box of tea. Also, it should go without saying that if you are going to regift, you should at least have the decency to remove all traces of the previous giver and wrap the gift with pretty paper that represents your personality. But also be sure to include a card. After all, it is the thought that counts. Make sure to sign a note with a friendly sentiment that lets the recipient know that no matter where the gift came from, you think it is just perfect for them.