Is it Okay to regift?



A composite image that represents the essence and popular practice of regifting

Madison Austin, Editor

When I was thirteen years old, my eccentric Aunt Roberta bought me a Fortnite blanket for Christmas. Unsurprisingly, I was less than enthusiastic about her gift of choice. At thirteen years old, I had already surpassed the age where such a gift would have been acceptable, but I remained respectful and appreciative when I gasped “Thank you so much. This gift is wonderful.”

Hours later, when reviewing my Christmas gifts with my mom, she earnestly asked me whether or not I liked the blanket. I told her that I found it juvenile and impractical, and she responded with a simple solution. She recommended that I regift that blanket to somebody else to ensure that it ended up with someone who would enjoy it for its worth.

I was completely shocked by her proposition. To recycle a Christmas present and pass it off as an original seemed disingenuous and unthoughtful. After reacting to her idea with such confusion, she revealed that regifting is a common practice, and that she herself has given and received regifted presents. I could not believe the words that were coming out of her mouth. I was raised on the belief that Christmas gifts were meant to be personalized and heartfelt reflections of affection, and regifting seemed so impersonal. Nevertheless, I adhered to her recommendation, and wrapped the blanket, and I gave it to my friend Dilan for Christmas.

Now that I am of gift-giving age myself, I found it prudent to research the topic and decide once and for all whether or not it is acceptable to regift presents. I first began consulting my peers to get their take on this dicey subject matter. Zander Ngo (12) was an ardent opponent of regifting. In fact, he commented that “regifting is among the most impersonal forms of gift-giving.” His sentiment was shared by many peers who agreed that regifting is a highly disrespectful way to give one a gift.

The verdict seems to be simple: generally speaking, recipients of presents are uncomfortable with the premise of reusing a previously-gifted present. It is important, however, to observe the issue from a logistical and economic standpoint. In the holiday season, a season where an estimated $679.2 billion is spent on gifts, saving money can be a crucial aspect of the holiday season for some (Forbes). Furthermore, if one is regifting something unused, unwrapped, and completely new, it is worth the same exact value as a newly purchased gift.

In the eyes of a gift-giver, regifting an item that is of good value and in a good state is not only practical and non-wasteful, it can save time and money. And if the gift is an appropriate present for its recipient, it could possibly be an even better gift than something that is bought specifically for them.