â€˜Tis the season for gift-giving. But as college students, we donâ€™t have it easy. On top of holiday festivities, jobs, and, oh yeah, school, thereâ€™s very little time to hand-pick the perfect present for everyone in our lives. Add to that the shortage of cash that afflicts most of the collegiate population, and we have a problem.
So why not regift? Coined by comedian Jerry Seinfeld in the sixth season of his TV show, the term â€œregiftâ€ has found its niche in holiday culture and even has its own Wikipedia definition. According to Wikipedia, it is simply â€œthe act of taking a gift that has been received and giving it to somebody else, sometimes in the guise of a new gift.â€
All right, be honest. You may have done this before. But donâ€™t feel too guilty; a 2007 survey by Money Management International found that 60 percent of Americans think regifting is more acceptable than in the past. And with the damaging effects of the recession, itâ€™s likely that more Americans than ever recognize the benefits of regifting. It is frugal, saves time and is even a method of recycling.
So how do you regift without offending anyone? College Avenue asked studentsâ€™ opinions, and also compiled some tips from the regifting website regiftable.com:
â€¢ Handmade and personalized items are a no-no. If someone made it for you, donâ€™t give it away. Johanna Serrano, an undeclared sophomor, agrees. â€œRegifting something personalized that has nothing to do with you is pretty tacky,â€ she said. Her tip for regifting: â€œgive the (regifted) present along with something else, just so it doesnâ€™t seem obvious.â€
â€¢ Give good quality. Donâ€™t wrap up something you have to dust off or that you have used, and donâ€™t give something that people can see when they are at your place â€“â€“ an observant friend may remember it. Regiftable.com also forbids the regifting of partially used gift cards. Junior fashion merchandising major Jared Blumentritt says he has regifted â€œlots of things,â€ and says he â€œwouldnâ€™t regift underwear or something youâ€™ve used.â€ Blumentritt has regifted bottles of perfume and cologne, as well as a picture he drew.
â€¢ Use your head. Regiftable.com stresses that givers keep track of who gave them presents, so they donâ€™t commit the greatest gift faux-pas of all and regift a present to the original giver. Emma Martens, sophomore English major, advises students to consider who theyâ€™re giving to. â€œItâ€™s OK, if someone else would appreciate it more, [and]
as long as the gift is thoughtful. (But) donâ€™t just be lazy by regifting.â€
â€¢ Make it pretty. Appearance is everything. Wrap the gift in attractive paper, and add bows, ribbons, glitter, tags or whatever you think will make it look appealing. Blumentritt recommends to â€œshine it up really nice, (and) donâ€™t be a cheapskate.â€
â€¢ Donate. If even the worst person on your list doesnâ€™t deserve the strange gift youâ€™re saddled with, it may be time to donate it to a local charity. After all, one personâ€™s trash â€¦ uh, gift, can be another personâ€™s treasure.
College Avenue magazine Features Editor Aliese Willard can be reached at email@example.com.