Second Time Around

How to re-gift, delight recipients and not get caught.

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    Laurie McDermott

Let’s be honest, I’ve done it. You’ve probably done it. In fact, most of us have probably re-gifted something we didn’t want. If we all do it, why can’t we just admit this is a new world of gift-giving and let go of all the guilt? Whether you come clean or not, here are five tips for succcessful re-gifting:


Never admit that your gift is indeed re-gifted. Take that secret to the grave! Unless they flat-out ask you, “Didn’t I give you one of these a few years ago?” That’s when you smile and say, “Oh! Yes! I liked it so much, I got you one!” Saved.


Always make sure the re-gifted item looks brand new.  Damaged, dented and dusty gifts, from lying in your closet for years, won’t do. Wrap the gift with pretty bows and ribbons because if the “cover” looks great, the gift inside will be considered more precious.


Never re-gift something that was hand-made or elicited a gasp from you upon opening it. Unless you really can’t stand this person or are giving a gift simply out of fear or inner-family rebellion. Then okay to proceed.


Inspect every inch of the gift before you wrap it. Every teeny, tiny inch. Especially books. I re-gifted an adorable book that on the inside page had a lovely letter to my 5-year-old from his grandmother. Boy, did I feel fantastic after that phone call.


When receiving a gift, even if it’s re-gifted, remember that when someone spends time thinking of you, wrapping a present and delivering it, you should feel honored. Say thank you, remove the tags and store it in the closet for the next go round!

Laurie McDermott is an award-winning columnist, motivational speaker and author of The CEO of the House.