Every year the Thursday before Christmas is set aside as National Re-Gifting Day. According to the National Days People this has to do with the fact that it is the popular day for companies to hold their annual employee/company Holiday party. I am a little surprised that it is actually before Christmas instead of after but knowing that more office holiday present swaps are dirty Santa or Dollar store theme it really ends up making a lot more sense.

We have all re-gifted at some point. I find that I tend to re-gift weird hostess gifts or bottles of wine. Every so often I re-gift something I bought for myself when I realize I know some one would probably use it or enjoy it more than I might. But I caution you re-gifting comes with some rules which the National Days Calendar folks were happy to share. Read the list below before you go wrapping up any unwanted gifts.

Keep in mind the following re-gifting etiquette when considering participation in this holiday.

  • Re-gift only when certain the recipient will enjoy your (unwanted) gift. If at any time you referred to it as junk, clutter or dust collector, it’s probably not re-giftable.
  • The gift is brand new (aka unused!) and in its original packaging. No, hand me downs!
  • Don’t hurt anyone’s feelings. If the gift had special meaning to the original giver, don’t re-gift.
  • Don’t re-gift if the item is handmade or personalized. If Uncle Joe spent his spare hours whittling that panic whistle, you should keep it.
  • Be careful not to re-gift something to the original giver. If you aren’t sure who gave it to you, don’t re-gift.
  • On that same note, to avoid embarrassment, re-gift only when you are sure the new recipient won’t tell the original giver what they received from you. (Is it starting to feel deceitful yet?)
  • Re-wrap all gifts and remove any tags that may suggest you didn’t do the shopping for the re-gifted item.
  • Be prepared to answer questions about the gift.  Questions such as “Where did you find this?  I’ve been looking everywhere for one!” may give up the secret if you aren’t able to give a convincing answer. (It should really start feeling deceitful, now.)

So if you are wondering how this annual day came about that gives you permission to re-gift feel free to thank Colorado governor, Bill Ritter, Jr. He was the person who made National Re-gifting Day official in 2008.