The Gentleman’s Sport
The Art of Re-Gifting
The act of re-gifting is a precarious art. The item to be bequeathed must show no evidence of wear and tear, be too old, or suspect to recognition from any party involved. It might also help if the person you’re giving it to didn’t gift it in the first place.
The following rules deem whether the item at hand is “acceptable” to pass on to your beloved kin, friends, colleagues & foes without their sneaking suspicion that it has been sitting in the back of your closet — forever waiting for that fateful day when you didn’t feel like venturing into the cold for a tedious housewarming or birthday present.
1. It can’t be too old.
There’s nothing worse than receiving something from a brand that went out of business half a decade ago. It’s too obvious and shows a lack of decorum and the sheer apathy radiating from the gifter. Make sure that whatever you’re passing off is relevant and handy i.e. not a Diehard DVD with the Blockbuster sticker still on it.
2. It can’t be re-gifted within your immediate circle.
Think of the person you’re giving the present to and then give yourself two degrees of separation. Say you received some lovely bath towels that a girlfriend would appreciate. Make sure it didn’t come from one of your mutual close friends or had been previously instagrammed to avoid the inevitably awkward conversation. It might also help if they’re not monogrammed as well.
3. It should be in its original packaging.
Best practices dictate that the present should still be in its original packaging for etiquette as well as sanitary reasons. Noone wants to receive sunglasses without a case or jewelry without the original box. It’s too obvious and a bit amateur hour — professional re-gifting requires the replicated trappings as well.
4. Food baskets – the gift that keeps on giving (unless it’s expired.)
Perfect for house warming presents, gifted food baskets are one of the few things that can be reassembled and redistributed with nary a second thought. Received a few for the holidays and already picked them over? Feel free to replace those meats, cheeses and jams willy-nilly from the baskets you haven’t ransacked yet. Noone will know the difference but more importantly everyone appreciates charcuterie regardless of its “known” origins.
5. Include a handwritten note.
To eradicate the guilt factor and alleviate any suspicion, always include a lovely handwritten note along with each gift. The receiver will be so pleased you took the time to sit down and pen something thoughtful they might overlook any signs of its previous ownership. Unless you forgot to remove the note someone left you in there. Then you’re just plain out of luck.
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