Regifting For Christmas

by heather

I know I’ve touched on regifting in other articles I’ve written on frugal Christmas gifts, but I wanted it to have its own article.

Why?

Well, because I think many people still view regifting as “cheap”, tacky even. But, I’d like to make the case for regifting since Christmas is, indeed, approaching quickly.

Let me start with short story: bear with me here.

The Regifting Story

I’ve always been a “declutterer”. Heck, I even used to own a professional organizing business. In my house, “clutter” is a four-letter word.

Back in October, while doing research for my lovely little blog, I stumbled across mico-home living. And it was like falling in love! I loved the idea of living in a small space with very few possessions. While some people might feel stifled by this environment, to me it felt liberating.

The concept was like a glittering diamond in my hand. I mean, to go through and choose, really choose, what was most important to me and get rid of the rest….I just loved it.

So, I began to get rid of things. I mean, really get rid of things. I thought I was clutter-free before, but after a few months I can see that I really wasn’t. What was I holding onto the most?

Gifts. I was holding onto gifts that people had given to me that I never used, but that I thought were “too nice to donate”.

And I hadn’t even realized that these things were what I was holding back on.

Was it hard to get rid of them? Oh, you bet. There was something deep in my heart that screamed “You’re so ungrateful! You’re getting rid of this, and so-and-so spent good money on it!

But I ignored the voice and started getting rid of stuff. And you know what? It really was so freeing; words can’t even describe how liberating it felt. To me it felt like finally jumping off the cliff and finding out that I had wings after all. The more I gave away, the better I felt.

The holiday season is the perfect time to start clearing out your clutter and regifting items. Regifting is great for the environment because you’re not consuming additional resources to buy something new. You save money because you don’t have to buy something. And, you clean out your house at the same time.

What’s not to love here?

Find Things To Regift

You can regift for Christmas very easily. Start by going through your home and looking at all the stuff that’s lying around.

Ask yourself: if I had to move suddenly and I had limited space, would I take this item with me?

Or, use this fabulous quote as your guideline:

If you want a golden rule that will fit everything, this is it: Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.

-William Morris

Regifting Ideas

By this point I’ve regifted a lot of stuff, and I’m definitely regifting for Christmas. And not once, so far, has anyone thought I was cheap or tacky for regifting something to them. They were happy and grateful, and I was happy they loved it.

There are tons of things you can regift. Here’s a list of ideas:

  • Books
  • Flower Vases
  • Beautiful coffee mugs
  • Silver/Fancy serving platters that you never use
  • Picture frames/artwork
  • Candles
  • Lamps
  • Cozy throws
  • Movies/cds
  • Wine
  • Jewelry
  • Hats or scarves
  • Figurines
  • Plants

Rules For Regifting

Are there guidelines you should go by? Sure there are. Here are some tips for regifting items.

  • If you wouldn’t like to receive the item, don’t regift it (good example: that coffee maker from the 1970’s, or your old pajamas).
  • Only regift items that are in new, good, working condition.
  • Be honest: if the person asks where you bought it, tell them it’s a regift. Don’t be bashful! Smile and tell them that you had it in your home, and every time you saw it you thought it was perfect for them.
  • Only regift something to someone you think they’ll actually use or like. Unloading items on someone else just to get rid of it is never considerate.

Creative Regifting

Don’t be afraid to think outside the box here.

Here’s an example: say you have a beautiful coffee mug that you think someone might like, but none of your friends are coffee drinkers. Well, perhaps you could turn it into a flower vase, toothbrush holder, or pen cup for a desk?

Last Word…

I know regifting has a bad rep, but I think it’s ill-deserved. Regifting, in my opinion, benefits everyone. It keeps stuff out of landfills, it saves money, and you get a decluttered home.

Want to know things I’m regifting this year? Books, books, and more books (I’m a recovering bibliophile), a PDA, an antique soda bottle that’s super cool (my dad collects them), and movies.

Good luck with your regifting efforts!

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Weighing in on Re-gifting | Sustainable Life | Work It, Mom!
December 18, 2008 at 12:06 pm

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Asteria December 30, 2008 at 8:25 pm

Great post. An environmental organization I volunteer has a regifting party after Christmas each year. It’s the perfect solution for a holiday get together to thank volunteers and for unwanted gifts – recycle them and have a party to boot!

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