Re-gift without regret


At the end of the year we start thinking about our karma and asking ourselves a lot of questions. Have I given more than I’ve gotten? Now you can give even more without a second thought. There is nothing wrong with re-gifting your Christmas gifts, recent study shows.

According to statistics, 36 percent of Russians re-gift during the holiday season (and that only includes official numbers). In 2014, American Express survey showed 42 percent of respondents said that they had re-gifted in the previous year.

But we know that it’s all about a sense of guilt.

Researchers found that those who receive a gift (“receivers”) overestimate the reactions of those who give the gift (“givers”). The researchers say: “Although receivers felt that givers were entitled to have a say in what happened to their gifts, givers felt that receivers were entitled to do whatever they liked with a gift.” In other words, receivers considered re-gifting a sin and their sense of guilt made them feel the “regifting taboo” more strongly while the further fate of the gift didn’t bother givers so much.

According to a study, in several Native American communities, “a gift is seen as having a spirit. And if you keep the gift, you kill its essence. By passing the gift on, you continue the cycle of gift-giving, and weave a web of mutual indebtedness and social cohesion”.

In Russia, we have an opposite superstition. If you re-gift something, you kill the positive energy that has been put in there by its giver. Moreover, you destroy the energy of those kind wishes that the giver had told you when giving the gift. Nevertheless, we still do it.

Let’s be honest.

Do you consider the possibility of re-gifting? It’s okay, the likelihood that your friends and significant others read my blog is extremely low.

And if your answer is “No”, try to be honest again: have you ever re-gifted anything?


34 thoughts on “Re-gift without regret

  1. I totally consider re-gifting, and even planned to with this last gift but you see, problem is, it was chocolate! ahahahahahhaaa. It’s all unpacked and messy and my mouth is full, while I contemplate the grim future where I actually have to buy gifts… Re-gifting is super

    Liked by 3 people

    • There are only two kinds of gifts I’ll never re-gift. They are chocolate and money. The former is my guilty pleasure and the latter can buy it. As the famous proverb says: money can’t buy happiness but it can buy chocolate. And thanks for the honest reply!

      Liked by 4 people

      • :LOL! Wonderful wisdom! I tweeted today that I needed some words of wisdom, and that I’d be indebted to whom would provide. And then these words were giften to me 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I would re-gift if I had a present that is good enough for giving to someone and I didn’t need it. I also think that re-gifting is very practical with some items like books. Books don’t loose their value even if you have read them, and they probably will just stand on the shelf for many years until you decide to read the same book again. However, for my close friends and family, I feel very uncomfortable not getting them something new. It’s just the idea that I should get “the best” for them! So I guess I am not completely over the guilt that you talked about, but it’s more like guilt towards the receiver 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • I agree with you about books. They perfectly suit for regifting or just giving. I give the books that I’ve already read to my friends without any doubts. But if I really liked the book, I can’t part with it. I leave it on my shelf and the mere look at the book gives me warm memories.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My grandmother used to do that and it would nearly always be bath products I’d get. I always just threw them out because I knew they’d irritate my skin.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Well ain’t it better to regift something that ain’t of much use to u . …that way neither the gift go unused n nor money n labours r wasted lol…so regifting is totally awesome !

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve re-gifted smaller items that I may have received from colleagues or kids at school. But I’ve never done it with family or close friends. My aunt used to do it all the time though and it became a bit of a family joke. We never let on we knew she passed gifts around, and to be fair to her, in general they were pretty good gifts!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree that there is no shame in re-gifting colleagues’ gifts while there is another story with close friends’ and family’s presents. Partly because they know you well and their gifts usually hit the spot.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I have regifted, but not lately. I don’t see anything wrong with it, but I certainly wouldn’t announce I had recycled a gift! We’ve sometimes done that with gifts the kids received that were doubles or just not something they were interested in.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. My sister and I are terrible….we give back presents without realizing that we gave it to the other several years ago….LOL and now that we are older and our kids are older we have been gifting them “stuff” out of the house and family herilooms….so I believe in re gifting, and sometimes the same thing back to the giver without knowing it came from there…LOL kat

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Since you asked for honesty, I’ll give it a try. I regift those things I buy for myself. I can’t regift anything someone else gives me because if they thought enough to give me a gift it becomes a treasure. That is probably why I give all my personal belongings away so I’ll have room for more treasure. Well, in all honesty the incoming is far below the outgoing. I give away appliances, cars, tools, books, paintings, everything I own is a permanent collection of temporary things. My secret is I never give something to someone that doesn’t want it or won’t treasure it like I do their gift to me. The greatest gift is the glow in someone’s eye that tells me we connected for a moment in a positive way. I regift the heck out of those. Great post as always Marta!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Daniel! To be honest, I don’t like to select gifts for a person of the opposite sex. In general, it takes much more time to choose a gift for men than for women. To me, finding the right gift for men is the hardest task ever. I even refuse to tolerate the thought that they may re-gift it to someone else later.

      Liked by 1 person

      • There is one secret to buying for men. If it is a tool, it’s a great gift. If it has a psychological inference to him being manly and desireable, it will be accepted with the greatest appreciation. Men feel women are hard to buy for because our hormones don’t allow us to think carefully when a woman is the recipient. Lots of trouble to get into there.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for this interesting explanation! It helped me to understand human nature a little more. And thank you a lot for the secret 🙂 Buying gifts for men will be more positive experience for me. Now all the gifts for my grandpa will make him feel desirable.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Well, under normal circumstances their is no greater gift to a grandfather than his granddaughter’s love and respect. I think he would cherish that gift and hold on to it.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I have given so many things away….both old and new. In fact I rarely buy gifts any longer. Instead I look to see if there’s anything of mine that I think might need to live with someone else. When I moved, I gave most the things I had away–to friends and to donation.

    Liked by 1 person

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