How to Give Back to the Community on National Re-Gifting Day

National re-gifting day is celebrated each year on the Thursday before Christmas. The date was chosen, because that’s when many companies hold their Christmas parties.

Interestingly, what was once thought of as “tacky” has now become popularized by such shows as the Seinfeld episode, The Label Maker.

But comedy aside, while re-gifting is no longer considered taboo in some circles there are ways it can be done that will benefit both the giver and the receiver.

Reasons why you might want to re-gift

  • a re-gift that is truly appreciated and desired helps to avoid waste and reduces the chance it will wind up in the landfill
  • if you were given a gift that is sitting in a corner or closet collecting dust, it’s taking up space – give it to someone who will appreciate and have use for it
  • re-gifting can reduce the clutter in your home and in your life (assuming you don’t buy something else to replace it!)
  • also, experts have found that clutter can lead to feelings of overwhelm, frustration, sadness and depression – a good reason to shed some of those things you don’t use or love

Dos and don’ts of re-gifting


  • Re-gift an item in the same circle of people you received it from. (Remember Elaine and the Label Maker?)
  • Re-gift anything that remotely smacks of “barely used” such as scratches, stains, etc.
  • Re-gift something that was clearly bought for you (e.g. something monogrammed with your initials!)
  • Re-gift items made by someone you know for two reasons; they were given for sentimental reasons and their uniqueness makes them instantly recognizable. (See The Label Maker fiasco noted above!)
  • Re-gift items by saying that they’re “vintage” when in fact they’re just plain worn out. For example, beautiful antique china found at an estate sale makes a great gift…old, unused baking pans from your wedding in 1998…not so much.


  • Wrap up your re-gift – sans a tag with your name on it – in beautiful wrapping paper, done up nicely.
  • Consider the recipient of your re-gift. Will they truly appreciate this gift or will it go into their “re-
  • Track the progression of the item you’re re-gifting. In short, you don’t want the horror of re-gifting back to the original giver!


Re-gifting ideas

The following gifts are good choices for re-gifting opportunities:

  • New household items (e.g. small appliances, utensil sets, mugs, etc)
  • Wine and liquor
  • Inexpensive jewelry

Re-gifting occasions and ideas

Nearly any time is a good choice for re-gifting, but the best chance you’ve got for unloading stuff you don’t need or want is at your office holiday party.

However, if you’d rather not take the chance that you’re giving something that was given to you by a coworker, you can make a larger impact with re-gifting by:

  • Collecting unwanted or unused items from friends and family, selling them on ebay and giving the proceeds to your favorite charity.
  • Holding a re-gifting party at your local community or religious center. Have everyone bring their unwrapped gift items in the original packaging and then:
    • let people trade for items they want, or
    • set up a gift wrapping station where individuals can wrap up their items which will be given to a designated charity or organization

Finally, if you have a gift that just won’t “go away”, you’re not stuck with it, give it to someone anyway, only give them an “easy out”. Tell them you tried it, didn’t work for you, but that they might like it and if not, give it to someone else who might. That way, everything’s out in the open…no harm, no foul!