Should you regift? Here's 5 questions to ask before pawning off a holiday present

Admit it — we've all regifted something at least once in our lives. But however great you think you are at the art of regifting, there are a few key questions you should ask yourself prior to recycling a gift this holiday season.

Before you whip out a gift from your office Christmas party to give to Uncle Larry, ask yourself the following five questions designed to help you steer clear of any avoidable awkwardness.

Did you remove all signs of the regift?

All signs pointing to regift-giving must be removed. This means checking for leftover wrapping paper or tape, any signs of tampering, an original gift tag or card, any sort of personalization, wear and tear, etc. In other words, the item should appear brand new — no "gently used" gifts allowed, Money Crashers stresses.


Do you truly feel the giftee will enjoy this gift better than you do?

Emily Post offers up this example: You already own a coffee maker, but you were just gifted another one. Your sister, meanwhile, just broke her own coffee maker, and she's on a budget. If your situation sounds anything like this one, it's perfectly acceptable to wrap up the new coffeemaker and regift.

Are you planning to regift in the same social circle in which you received the gift?

Regifing in the same social circle in which you received the gift is a really risky move, for obvious reasons. Even if the giftee doesn't notice at first, your mutual friend — the one who gave you the gift in the first place — is bound to notice sooner or later. Busted!


Do you have a backup plan if somebody calls you out?

OK, so you've been busted. What do you say? Well, it's best to  diffuse things on the spot. When asked if you've repurposed your gift, the Spruce suggests you respond with something like this: ”As soon as I opened it, I thought of you,” or ”I received two of these books, and I know how much you enjoy this author’s work.”

Is the original gifter expecting to see this thing in your house?

Was the original gift a piece of artwork, or a vase? Or was it hand-crafted or personalized especially for you? If so, regifting is probably inappropriate. Just keep it in a closet until company comes over, then display it prominently until they leave.