Re-giftHave you ever received a re-gift? Have you ever re-gifted? The term “re-gift,” first coined by Jerry Seinfield on his hit TV show, means to give as a gift something one previously received as a gift. For instance, on my 40th birthday a teacher friend of mine gave me a nice bath salts ball neatly wrapped in cellophane and tied with ribbon. The gift label firmly stuck on the cellophane read, “To Mrs. Smith, from your student Susie.” Whoops! (By the way, names were changed to protect a not-so-savvy re-gifter.)

My re-gifting friend could have benefited from the re-gifting rules below. Please keep these in mind as you finish up your Christmas shopping – whether at the mall or in your closet. (Keep reading to the end of the post to find out about the perfect re-gift!)

Rules for Re-gifting

1.      Check your motivation – do you have good intentions? Don’t re-gift simply because you ran out of time. Make sure the item will be desirable to the recipient.

2.      Update the wrapping – do not re-give a gift in its original gift bag if crinkled or torn, or even worse, in the wrapping paper it was in when given to you. Most importantly check for original gift tags and cards. These are a dead giveaway as I well know.

3.      Don’t re-gift something you’ve used – this includes partially used gift cards; one gift receiver found a few grains of rice in a “new” rice cooker she was given.

4.      Don’t re-gift to the original giver – keep track of who gives you what

5.      Certain things should never be re-gifted – obscure books and CDs, fancy soaps, fruitcake, promotional items like pens and ball caps, and anything you hated when you received it

6.      Don’t give something you’ve had for awhile – if it has a thick layer of dust on it or has a tag from a company that no longer exists, then it should probably not be re-gifted

7.      Don’t give anything that tells on you – if it’s monogrammed or personalized in any way you’re shooting yourself in the foot. Check also for books signed to you.

8.      Never re-gift anything you’ve bought at a garage sale – that’s just tacky


  • The receiver knows it’s a re-gift
  • You have another new gift to give them as well
  • The recipient was with you when you received the gift and expressed admiration
  • You know without a doubt they will absolutely love it!

Christmas re-gifting began on the very first Christmas. As soon as the shepherds left the stable they ran into Bethlehem to share the gift of the Christ-child with everyone on their Christmas list. (See Luke 2:17.) Anna, the old prophetess that Mary and Joseph encountered at the temple soon after Jesus’ birth, shared Jesus with “all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem” (Luke 2:38). No doubt, Anna had a lot of re-wrapping to do.

Jesus was our first – and eternally best – Christmas gift. When we receive Him we also receive forgiveness of sin and eternal life. Have you received that gift? If so, have you ever re-gifted Jesus? Let’s follow the example of the shepherds and Anna and re-give Jesus to all who need redemption. (This post originally ran in December 2010.)

Tell us your re-gifting Jesus story!

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