27/01/2017 06:14 GMT | Updated 28/01/2018 05:12 GMT

Why You Shouldn't Feel Guilty About Re-gifting Unwanted Presents

Look around your home. How many unwanted/unused gifts do you still have hanging around from Christmas? Do you really have to display that ugly bowl you got from your aunt? Are you ever going to use that shower gel, or light that stinky candle?

By now, the dust has settled and the year is pretty much in full swing. You've already given up the ridiculous new diet or exercise regime. And Dry January has well and truly gone by the wayside. You are back to your usual daily routine.

I think it's time to stop feeling guilty about passing on those unwanted gifts too.


© Scott Griessel

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Before your house overflows with all the useless tat collected from Christmas and birthdays over the years, just stop. What is really going to happen if you don't keep every single unwanted gift you have been given? Do you think your mother-in-law is really going to notice if you never wear that necklace she bought you?

I see nothing wrong with re-gifting something to someone who will actually appreciate it.

And I don't think this makes me ungrateful either. It's nice to receive a gift and the fact that somebody was thoughtful enough to give me something is lovely. But that doesn't mean I should be stuck with it if it's not to my taste, or it's something I'll never use.

Having said that, however, I don't think we should be throwing unwanted gifts in the bin. And there are certain things you should consider before re-gifting:

  • Never give the gift back to the sender

This seems like a no-brainer, right? But the longer you leave it, the more chance you have of making this mistake. Think about it. Who is the person that is most likely to enjoy the gift that you don't want? Probably the person who chose it in the first place. If a few months have gone by, it can be quite easy to forget who sent you the gift in the first place. My solution is to re-gift as soon as possible. It's not like you're going to change your mind and want the gift later anyway.

  • Never knowingly give someone a bad gift

Just because you don't like something, doesn't mean everyone else will feel the same. But do think carefully about the person you are giving the unwanted gift to. If you think there's a chance they might feel the same way about the item as you did, don't give them it.

  • Never gift anything pre-used or broken

So you got a pasta maker, and though you didn't think you'd use it much, you thought you should try it out anyway. Of course, it turns out you were right the first time. And now it just takes up loads of space in your kitchen. Well, sorry, but you can't pass this gift on - at least not while pretending it's brand new. Nobody wants to open a gift to find it dusted with flour from the previous owner.

  • Don't re-gift something that was bespoke to you

If someone has gone to all the effort of personalising your gift, then really you shouldn't re-gift this to another friend or family member. The chances are that your original gift giver will notice, and to be honest, no one wants a gift with someone else's name on it do they?

  • If in doubt, re-gift to charity

At the end of the day, if you don't think your gift is a perfect fit for your friend/family member, then it probably isn't. That doesn't mean you should be forced to keep it, or worse, throw it away. Giving the gift to a charity shop allows it to find it's rightful owner, and you will be doing your bit for a good cause too. It's a win-win.