I know a lot of frugal blogs cover regifting. But I’m curious to hear your point of view. Maybe I’m oversimplifying a rather diverse group, but I tend to think that most frugal folks would be pro-regifting.
The subject came to mind several times in the past month. My mom was worried my feelings might be hurt, but she wanted to give a hoodie to a homeless shelter that was desperately in need of warm clothing. She just wasn’t using it much, and she knew the shelter’s clients would.
For the record, I say that, once a gift is given, it is out of my hands — literally and figuratively.
For Tim’s birthday, I got him two shirts and a hat from Ecko (hooray for outlet stores!) which he loved. But one of the shirts was the wrong size. When we went to return it, Tim decided he preferred another shirt. He was worried my feelings would be hurt. I told him I’d rather he get the shirt he wants.
And, on Christmas morning, we thanked my mom for her thoughtful gifts. After she finished opening her gifts from us (because, weirdo that she is, she hadn’t torn open presents the moment she woke up!), Tim cleared his throat. He told her that, while he very much appreciated the gifts — especially the thought she put into them — he could not use one of the shirts. Instead, he wondered if she would mind him giving it to someone else. She really didn’t mind.
So I guess I wonder what all the fuss is about. I know some people think it’s callous. The argument, I suppose, being that a lot of thought gets put into a present.
I put a lot of thought into gifts, which helps assure that the recipient will want and use the item. But there are times when you simply misread a situation. Perhaps it’s a gift card to an expensive, preppy store and you’re a Hot Topic gal. Or a set of lotions and soaps that, while lovely, officially fill your cupboards with bath products.
Isn’t it better that the person get some use from the item, rather than pretend to love it and then throw it away?
I kept receiving Eddie Bauer gift cards from one aunt. They were generous amounts, so I appreciated the thought. And the cards did allow me to replace my old, ratty backpack. Another time, I got a nice watch. When I had nothing else I needed, I used the card to buy a few small gifts for people on my list: a pedometer, a survival kit for Mom to keep in her car, etc.
In the end, the card did help me, if not quite in the way my aunt had envisioned.
I guess I don’t see what the big deal is. Does anyone else?
If there are some ardent anti-regift folks out there, I would love to hear from you, too. I would love to hear from you. Since I really just have my own opinion, I want to know what your guidelines are:
- Can you not regift/throw out any gifts, or just from people close to you?
- How long do you have to keep something before discreetly disposing of it?
- Are some presents okay to give away — like last-minute, no-thought-in-them gifts — while others you have to keep forever?
- Have you had some experience wherein someone truly hurt your feelings with a regift?
- Has anyone ever tried to regift a present to the original giver?