Is Regifting Rude?
The etiquette of regifting.
It’s the holidays, which means I’m receiving loads of questions about the etiquette of regifting. So, don’t throw away that six-pack of beer you just unwrapped with only 4 cans left – crack it open and enjoy my tips for regifting:
The Seinfeld Connection
My fellow Quick and Dirty Tips host Grammar Girl says that the word “gifting” was mostly limited to tax conversations until a 1995 episode of Seinfeld called "The Label Maker." In this episode, Elaine referred to a minor character as a "regifter." I think regifting is the biggest holiday manners issue because of the way people regift, not the actual regifting itself.
Here’s an instance of bad regifting: Let’s say I get 5 boxes of candy as gifts before Christmas. Is it OK for me to give one of those unopened boxes to someone else? I’m never going to eat them all. Would it make me a horribly rude regifter?
Absolutely not! In fact, this is a great example of proper regifting. Now, if you opened the box, ate a couple of candies, and then tried to pass it off as new, that would be extremely rude…and really bizarre.
What is Correct Regifting Etiquette?
When it comes to regifting, put yourself in the place of the person to whom you are giving the present. The success or failure of your gift will be judged by the “eyebrow test” which involves a person’s eyebrow raising reaction to how shocking the gift is. Bottom line, think with your heart, use some common sense and always remember it’s the thought that counts.
Do you have a great story about regifting? Post all the details in Comments below.
As always, if you have another manners question, I look forward to hearing from you at email@example.com. Check out my Modern Manners Guy Facebook page, follow me on Twitter @MannersQDT, and of course, check back next week for more Modern Manners Guy tips.