recycle, return or regift chrusemas gifts

Recycle, Return or Regift?

Recycle, Return or Regift?

By Angela Brown

Holiday gifts – what now that the holiday is over?

We ate, we drank, and we opened gifts…and we left open gifts lying around. Sound about right?

Sure the holidays are over and we’re thinking about taking down the tree, putting the gifts away, but where do we start?

Well now is a good time to jump start your spring housecleaning and recycle, return, or regift all the stuff that passed through your house this Christmas.


Let’s suppose for Christmas you got a new hand bag, yay for you! But what about the old handbags you have lying around? It’s a good idea when you get something new to get rid of something old. When you go to put away that new hand bag, find one you’re not using any more and recycle it. If you got a new pair of shoes, get rid of an old pair of shoes. If you got new underwear, get rid of your old ratty underwear that you’re saving as backups. You’re never going to use them now – you have new ones.

By getting rid of things that are old, used, and no longer worth keeping, you create space for new and better things in your life. If you are getting rid of things that are still good and can be recycled or reused consider a consignment store or a thrift store like Goodwill that takes donations.


Let’s suppose, you got a gift you don’t need, want, or can’t use. It’s perfectly okay to take those items back to the store and get a refund, providing that you have a receipt. Also stores have return policies that vary but these will keep you out of trouble:

  1. Return items unopened in their original packaging
  2. Return items with tags when possible
  3. Return items with receipt, gift receipt when possible
  4. Return items within 10 days of receiving them
  5. Be kind to the return clerk at the store

Some stores will give you cash in as a refund, some will give you a store credit or a gift card you can re-gift to someone else.


Re-gifting is awesome. It’s a great way to recycle a brand-new item, as a gift for someone you know could use it or would appreciate it.

Here are the rules of re-gifting:

  1. Make a list of the items you received and who gave them to you.
  2. Write a thank you note to the person who gave you the gift expressing gratitude for the thoughtfulness of the gift.
  3. Save the list with the items you plan on re-gifting
  4. When it is time to regift an item, do NOT regift it to the person who gave it to you or someone they know.
  5. Don’t re-gift in the same circle of friends.
  6. Gifts have a shelf life, if it is a perishable item, be aware of the expiration date. Other items are considered trends or fads that come and go. Keep your gifts current.
  7. Make sure your gifts are age appropriate – you would not want to re-gift a bottle of wine to a minor for example, or play dough to an adult.
  8. Be sensitive. You would not want to regift a bottle of wine to a recovering alcoholic.
  9. Check to make sure there are no name tags on the items you are re-gifting.
  10. Wrap the gift in new paper, gift bag etc. as if it is the first time the gift is being given.


Re-gifting is another way to recycle. It is a way to share our blessings with others. Re-gifting saves money and credit card debt and puts an item we can’t use in the hands of someone who can, and it’s a good idea.

Rules for Re-gifting by Angela Brown Oberer

Click here to watch a short detailed video about re-gifting.



Alcohol Anonymous
Video: It’s a Good Idea by Angela Oberer
Artwork: Graphicstock
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