Rules for Re-gifting

Re-gifting is not a popular idea, as it is generally considered taboo. I happen to fall on the unpopular side of this topic, and fully believe that re-gifting a wedding present is appropriate more often than not. Most people truly want you to be happy with what they give you, so if you are not, I believe they would rather you put it to good use by giving it to someone who wants or needs it.

Sometimes you get a wedding gift that is cute, but just is not “you”; sometimes you receive one that is downright outside of your preferences! I cannot think of one friend I have that would want me to keep such a gift!

There are, however, rules for re-gifting, and if these rules are not followed, the re-gifting could result in hurt feelings. So stay classy, and follow some simple yet effective rules – and get comfortable with re-gifting!

Only Re-gift to Someone You KNOW Wants or Needs the Gift

This is my number one rule for re-gifting. DO NOT just give your unwanted present to someone if you are not sure they would really want it. This has happened to me. My mother-in-law has, in fact, been very up-front about doing so – more than once! She would receive something, then gave it to me because she “thought I might like it.” Do not be that person!

Never Re-gift to the Person Who Gave it to You

This should go without saying, but you may forget who gave it to you, and inadvertently give it to them. Use a sticky note on the item with the name of the gift-giver so you will remember who it was.

If You Are Close to the Giver and See Them Often, Consider Talking to Them About Re-gifting

Again, most people want you to be happy with their gift. If you do not care for the gift but know someone else who will love it, yet you will see the giver often and they will expect to see the gift, consider talking to the giver honestly about it. You probably will not get away without saying that you do not care for the gift, but work to focus on the other person and your desire to see them happy more than on your lack of happiness with the gift.

If the Gift is Truly Special, Do Not Re-gift, Even if You Really Dislike It

Some gifts just are not worth giving away, even if you hate it. If an aunt has spent many hours crocheting a quilt that depicts your family tree, or your mother-in-law has hand-stitched your wedding date on a wall hanging along with some deer and other things you do not care about (again, talking about my mother-in-law!), you just need to swallow hard and keep it in the attic until she comes to your house.

Always Re-wrap the Gift in a New Bag, Box, or Paper

Make sure the gift is given in the correct wrapping for the occasion. You do not want to give a birthday gift in a wedding bag!

Remove all Personal Items From the Gift

Givers will often tuck a small note along with an antique explaining why it is special, or a personalized bookmark in a book. Make sure to examine the gift and remove any personal items. Personalized items should never be re-gifted. I hope this will be obvious, but books that are written in or monogrammed pens, doorknockers, towels, tablecloths, jewelry, or Bible covers are off limits.

If the Gift is Truly Awful, Do Not Give as a Special Gift. Instead Save it For a White Elephant Exchange

Horrid sweaters and animal house-slippers, gaudy earrings and toddler-ish hair bows, old lady scarves and horrendous novels are best given as gag gifts.

More often than not, brides and grooms love the gifts those who love them have purchased to celebrate the marriage. But if you do receive a gift you really do not want, follow these rules, and you will be just fine!

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