Who really knows how long the practice of ‘regifting’ has been going on as a true tradition? Don’t get mad at me for bringing this subject up because I’m not ‘Miss Manners’, and I know you’ve all done it at least once in your lifetime. Regifting became a really popular term after the famous “Label Maker” Seinfeld episode where Jerry and Elaine track down well known suspected regifter Dr. Tim Whatley. Jerry had received the label maker from Dr. Tim after Elaine gave the label maker to Dr. Tim for Christmas. Here are five gifts worth holding on to for a future regift.
- Wine– For most of us, we won’t be able to tell the difference between a $10 bottle and a $50 bottle. It’s not like you would care anyway whether Wine Spectator gave it 92 points or 72 points. If your wine rack is full or you just aren’t a big drinker then no harm, no foul. Keep it in the bag and get ready for the next neighborhood party you are invited to with your bottle of wine.
- Brookstone or Sharper Image Gifts– How did you know I wanted an electronic turkey thermometer? Or maybe an automatic chiller icicle for my wine. Perhaps a bread dough maker even though I’ve never made a loaf bread. Some of those electronic gifts will sadly collect dust in your cabinets unless you regift them. Do yourself a favor and give them to someone you know who are more likely to use them. Everybody wins!
- Gift Cards– There are some gift cards that you know will be put to good use. In some cases, you’ll receive a gift card to a store that you either have a complete overload of gift cards from or just a place that you will never be a patron. You can always unhitch the card from the gift cardholder and use a new box or put it within a hand written card. Voila! New gift and no one is the wiser!
- Books– All you need with books is to have a little creativity and imagination. It doesn’t matter if it’s a mystery novel, a biography, or a kitchen cookbook. The key here is to think about where you are going to regift the book. If you make a great style match, the book will be much happier going to someone who is actually going to read it.
- Picture Frames– How many more of these can we actually get in our homes? There are excellent regifting gifts because they are so universal. You can give these to teachers, neighbors, and distant relatives. For a family member, add in a picture of the kids and you are all set.
There’s no bad karma with regifting (at least not that I’m aware of at this time), but avoid regifting jewelry, Yankee Doodle candles, or food. Believe it or not, December 18th is actually national regifting day in the United States (are there any days left that aren’t a “day” yet?). If you have a white elephant office party, you’ll have your opportunity to pass on that special something you got from somebody that you truly never wanted in the first place. After all, tis’ the season to spread the love of giving (or maybe re-giving)…
What is the funniest thing you have regifted?
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Ted Jenkin, CFP®, AAMS®, AWMA®, CRPC®, CMFC®, CRPS®, is co-CEO of oXYGen Financial and is a top ranked personal finance blogger (www.yoursmartmoneymoves.com). He is a regular contributor to Investment News, The Wall Street Journal, and The Atlanta Journal Constitution. Securities and Investment Advisory Services offered through NFP Advisor Services, LLC (NFPAS), Member FINRA/SIPC. Oxygen Financial is not affiliated with NFPAS.