Is regifting ever okay?

Is regifting an acceptable practice, or is it rude and unspeakably tacky? REDBOOK's advice guru, Karen Karbo, gives tips on how to handle a regifter.



Q: My stepsister is a notorious regifter. Once, she even regifted a Christmas present of expensive perfume I'd bought for her and gave it to our stepmom for her birthday. For my last birthday, she gave me this awful glass platter that my stepmom told me my stepsister got from a company for hosting one of their product parties (you know, like a Tupperware party). I always select a gift for her that I think she'll like, and it hurts to know that she cares so little for me or my feelings that I get her discarded presents. Is there any way I could talk to her about this that isn't offensive? -A.R., 29, Newport News, VA


A: I have a regifter friend. The one time I called her on her habit (she gave me an electric carving knife her mom had given her), she laughed and said, "Busted!" The next time it happens to you, say, "Whoa, Emily! Didn't you receive this platter last year from Aunt Sarah?" Your stepsister might just shrug, or perhaps you'll have an awkward moment, but she probably won't be all that offended, and she might change her regifting ways. Or, she might be offended...and still continue to regift.

One solution could be to put in less effort yourself and give her gifts that are inexpensive and generic, but I'm not sure that would make you feel better. Gifts, by definition, are offered from the heart - no strings attached. Part of the reason we give nice gifts to people is for our own joy: Taking the time to find the perfect present for someone we care for is a gift in and of itself; it's already a good time. If you're able to look at it that way, you can see that your stepsis is the one who's missing out.

For more advice from Karen, go to redbookmag.com/karenkarbo.


Do you think Karen's advice was on point? How would you handle a regifter? Or, do you regift yourself?! If so, how do you avoid getting busted?

MORE FROM REDBOOK:
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Great Gifts for Difficult People

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