I was first introduced to the concept of “regifting” on an episode of Seinfeld, probably when I was in middle school. It was presented as a majorly negative concept:
Elaine: I think this is the same one I gave him. He recycled this gift. He’s a regifter!
Even though it was mentioned that maybe the same gift was purchased because it was so good, it was set in my mind that regifting wasn’t the thing to do. And in that instance, the recipient wasn’t thrilled with the gift when he got it, so it was more of an impolite thing overall than just regifting the gift.
But as I changed my lifestyle and mindset, I started to think… regifting isn’t so bad, is it? If you get a gift you don’t like, why not pass it along? Be polite about it, though, because after all, it’s the thought that counts! But there is a compulsion to keep the gift, especially if it’s something to hang up or display, so the person who gave it to you can see it when they come over.
This concept comes up in a Gilmore Girls episode where Emily is trying to find all the gifts her mother-in-law gave her, so she can display them as if she loves having them in her home. Most of them are in the basement, and a hat rack was
given regifted to Lorelai.
I have never gone to a friend’s house expecting to see my gifts prominently displayed. That being said, it does make me feel warm and fuzzy when I see my gifts or cards around. But that’s a bonus feeling.
If I get a gift I can’t use or don’t want, I will graciously accept it. But I don’t see anything wrong with passing that gift on to someone it is better suited for. What’s the difference between regifting and donating? Not much, except donations are more broad, and you don’t know who will get the item. It’s a fine way to get rid of things, but if you know a friend who would love a copy of the book you already own, why not pass it on?
I have similar feelings about “new” gifts – I love getting a cool purse from a thrift store, or used books or 45s from a library book sale. It means a friend was shopping and saw something that they thought I’d like, so they got it for me. It doesn’t have to be brand new and expensive with the tags still on.
How do you feel about regifting – both doing it and getting “regifts”?