It has long been considered the ultimate faux pas of gift giving, but it would seem the act of redirecting an unwanted present to a third party is becoming a socially acceptable practice.

Especially pets. Pets need a home too

With the buying-wrapping-delivering frenzy of another festive season upon us, a recent survey found a very magnanimous 83 per cent of respondents said they wouldn’t mind being given a recycled gift.

The key to a seamless “regifting”, as the potentially Scrooge-like process has become known, is in pairing an unwanted parcel to a suitable new owner.

Seems it’s not the concept of recycling that bothers recipients so much as being lumbered with a hopelessly mismatched present.

In other words Auntie Tina will happily turn a blind eye so long as the second-hand offering she finds under her tree is something she actually wants – rather than an ornately decorated dog-food bowl when she has no pets.

So there you have it: it really is the thought – and not the receipt – that counts.

US website CreditDonkey, who commissioned the survey, has even compiled a few pointers to help novice regifters avoid the most common rookie mistakes.

These include ensuring the person receiving the rejected present won’t cross paths with the original giver, and taking care to team each item to an appropriate home.

It might sound simple enough but according to a previous eBay survey, somewhere in Australia there’s a vegetarian still fuming over the tandoori spice rub for chicken they were once given from a not-so-thoughtful friend.

And should your cunning regifting be exposed, the experts advise, handle it was as much grace as possible.

After all, concealing disappointment upon unwrapping an utterly useless present is a timeless Christmas tradition - whether it is regifted or not.

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22 comments

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    • ibast says:

      07:05am | 13/12/12

      “These include ensuring the person receiving the rejected present won’t cross paths with the original giver, and taking care to team each item to an appropriate home. “

      My mother once wrapped a work prize as a wedding gift to one of my cousins.  Very distinctive crystal glasses with a slight hole in the box.

      I received it back as a 21st gift.  Not only was it a re-re-gift of epic fail, but it sucked as a 21st gift as well.

    • Louise says:

      07:38am | 13/12/12

      Call me a Grinch, but I’m tired of receiving pointless gifts that don’t mean anything, and that I don’t have the room to store in my small house.  I’m making gifts of food this year for those who I want to give something to.  If they like them, they can eat them.  If not, then I’m sure their dogs will be grateful.  If they don’t appreciate the time and effort it takes to make the gift, well too bad.  Better than some thoughtless trinket picked up off the $20 table at some department store.  I’ve told my kids to ‘make’ me something, even it it’s another ornament/picture/star for the Christmas Tree.  This frenzied commercialism is tiring and wasteful and leaves a bad taste.  Let’s hope my gifts don’t….

    • Robin says:

      08:35am | 13/12/12

      Nice one Louise, we do the same as well.  Actually, being a bit of a home brewer our male friends tend to get a few nicely bottled gifts (with their photo as part of the label) or home made biscuits for those who don’t partake.  Most appreciate them, and bad luck if they don’t.  But at work for our “Secret Santa”  I gave the person a gift certificate showing they have donated $30 to an orangutan in Borneo.  They get updates.  They are stoked, better than a useless piece of crap to be thrown out.

    • Philosopher says:

      03:01pm | 13/12/12

      what’s an orangutan in Borneo going to do with $30, buy a David Attenborough DVD? I really don’t understand the thinking here.

    • john says:

      08:04am | 13/12/12

      OMG that looks like Julia Gillard. LOL.!!!

    • Rebecca says:

      02:24pm | 13/12/12

      I was thinking Gollum’s sister.

    • Rebecca says:

      02:26pm | 13/12/12

      I was thinking Gollum’s sister.

    • Stained says:

      03:41pm | 13/12/12

      Damn, I was going to say, hey I want one of those Sarrah, it could come in useful. 

      Then you had to spoil it John with that comment, I’m done like Emerson now!

    • ramases says:

      08:48am | 13/12/12

      We have a strict policy in our house, do not gift us at this time of year as it will not be welcome or reciprocated and will be returned ASAP. We don’t celebrate this high jacked pagan holiday as it is meaningless to us.
        The only gift giving time is birthdays where we give either money or a gift card knowing that the person can actually buy themselves something that they really want or need instead of the useless gifts that either sit in the drawer of get recycled.

    • mike says:

      09:54am | 13/12/12

      I’d hate to be your chris cringle at the office christmas party mate…..

    • Mindy says:

      09:00am | 13/12/12

      I will occasionally re-gift things if I think the recipient will enjoy the item more than me.  I think it’s better than leaving things to gather dust in the back cupboard for years.  I usually do this for Secret Santa gifts, or last minute invites to parties, not my family.  You just need to make sure that the item looks nice and hasn’t been opened previously.

    • Mindy says:

      09:00am | 13/12/12

      I will occasionally re-gift things if I think the recipient will enjoy the item more than me.  I think it’s better than leaving things to gather dust in the back cupboard for years.  I usually do this for Secret Santa gifts, or last minute invites to parties, not my family.  You just need to make sure that the item looks nice and hasn’t been opened previously.

    • iansand says:

      09:07am | 13/12/12

      Amateurs - if caught out in a re-gift there is only one sensible response “Yes - I liked it so much that I chased it down to give one to her!!!”  It doesn’t work if the gift was a specially woven personalised yak hair tea cosy.

    • Philosopher says:

      11:19am | 13/12/12

      That quote sounded wrong, somehow…

    • Colin says:

      09:10am | 13/12/12

      “...I’m tired of receiving pointless gifts ...”

      “...We have a strict policy in our house, do not gift us at this time of year as it will not be welcome or reciprocated…”

      Oh, you pack of old Scrooges, Grinches, and misanthropic malcontents..!

      I looooove Christmas time! I love giving and receiving presents, and I love the big family lunches, lots of friends around for dinner…And I really love all of the good cheer that goes along with it.

      There is nothing that makes me laugh and smile and feel happy as much as watching children run around unwrapping presents and squealing with delight on Christmas morning.

      I may be cynical, I may be sarcastic, and I am also an atheist, but I adore Christmas time with all of my friends and family; it is the one time of the year that we can all be together and celebrate our love en masse.

    • Philosopher says:

      11:21am | 13/12/12

      I knew you went to Mass at least once a year.
      Happy Christmas Colin, all the best!

    • Gordon says:

      05:11pm | 13/12/12

      First time I’ve read a non-snarky post from Colin. Must have hit the brandy already

    • Philosopher says:

      06:27pm | 13/12/12

      Gordon: ever seen the episode where Mr Burns is mistaken for a friendly alien following medical treatment?

    • Ruby says:

      09:50am | 13/12/12

      Regifting is a good idea, especially if it means I am getting a present that suits me, rather than getting some dumb candle or some useless trinket that I would never, ever buy myself.

    • Ruby says:

      09:50am | 13/12/12

      Regifting is a good idea, especially if it means I am getting a present that suits me, rather than getting some dumb candle or some useless trinket that I would never, ever buy myself.

    • Kika says:

      11:08am | 13/12/12

      I re-gifted a Kris Kringle gift I got last year. I’m not a heavy drinker and someone bought me a Vodka pre-mix bucket. Um? ok. So my husband wrapped it up and threw in a packet of smokes and gave it to my Mum. Priceless.

    • Onlooker says:

      02:38pm | 13/12/12

      Poor little dog he looks like an Alien

 

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