7 Jan 2021

The Etiquette of Re-Gifting

Whether it’s a bottle of wine, a box of chocolates or a pair of cufflinks, re-gifting is the art of passing on a present that was originally given to you by someone else. In a world of waste and excess, there is a legitimate argument for recycling in this way. How much better to give that sequinned sweater to a flamboyant friend than to leave it languishing unworn at the back of your wardrobe?

The theory has logic, but the practice has to be watertight. No one must ever know: not the original giver nor the next-in-line receiver. Ensure that the receiver is at least six degrees separated from the giver, and that the ‘re-gift’ is shop-fresh and unmarked.

Check the present has not been personalised in any way by the original giver – it’s hard to recover if your recipient discovers your initials monogrammed in the corner of that silk scarf you’ve just given them. Finally, be careful not to boast – never tell anyone about your talent for re-gifting. They’ll never give you anything and will be forever suspicious about their own presents from you. And don’t present the re-gift with too much flourish, just in case. Recycling and economising are all very well, but deep down, you know that what you are doing is … cheap.

 

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