Regifting: we all do it from time to time. But if you want to avoid embarrassing situations when you decide to “recycle” a gift, follow what we call the “four Rs”.
Rule 1: Record
Make a note of who gave you the gift. The ultimate in regifting embarrassment is giving something back to the person who gave it to you.
Rule 2: Reconnaissance
Examine the gift carefully to make sure it’s suitable for regifting. In particular, make sure it hasn’t been signed, customised, or otherwise made individual to you. (The only option then is to be entirely open about your regifting, and that’s not always the way you want to go.)
Rule 3: Remote
Regift to someone as unconnected to the person who gave you the gift as possible. An unwanted present from a colleague can easily be given to a cousin, but cross-pollinating gifts from family is likely to come back and bite you in the face.
Rule 4: Rapid
On the whole, we favour regifting sooner rather than later. You’re more likely to remember who gave it to you, remember to check it and remember not to give it to someone inappropriate if you get the process over with as soon as possible.