How to Throw a Regifting Party After the Holidays


regifting party

When it comes to gifts, it truly is the thought that counts, but let’s face it: not every idea is a good one. What should you do with those less than perfect presents you received over the holidays? That’s easy—regift them, but do it in style by throwing a regifting party.

Regifting Redefined

I love this idea because it solves a few holiday dilemmas in one. Even though the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s is jam-packed with festive events and activities, I still don’t get a chance to see everyone I’d like during this time. Planning a post-holiday gathering gives me an excuse to socialize with even more friends. And a regifting party brings a special appeal: the incentive of offloading an unwanted gift and the allure of trading up for something I’d rather have. Plus, if you bought a special holiday outfit and want another excuse to wear it, this is it. 

How to Do It

Admittedly, we all might feel partied out by January, but there are no hard and fast rules to throwing a regifting party. Invite who you want, serve what you want, and figure out a way to trade the gifts.

Maybe you want this to be the last hurrah before everyone gets healthy for the new year (try one of these cocktails). Or maybe you’re all starting down the road to wellness with a party full of healthy foods and mocktails in honor of Dry January.

For the regifting part of the event, try one of these fourteen creative ways to play a gift exchange game. As a point of etiquette, though, I’d recommend making sure your party guests are not people who gave the gifts in the first place. Awkward. And for the sake of politeness, keep the color commentary on the origins of the re-gift to a minimum. Someone did take the time to give it to you, afterall.

Is Regifting Right for You?

I keep thinking about how I’d feel if I found out a present I bought ended up at a regifting party (and who’s to say it hasn’t already?). I can’t say I’d be terribly upset. 

I want to give a present that the recipient truly wants or needs. You have a registry? Great! I’ll definitely buy from that. You have a specific list of ideas? Send them my way. It’s not that I don’t like taking the time to think about the person for whom I’m buying—nothing gives me a bigger thrill than knowing I’ve come up with The Perfect Gift— but if someone is really hoping to get a certain thing, then I’d love to help them out. And when I don’t have a clue what to buy, I’ll try my best with the understanding that it may not be a success. 

So if you return a gift I give you, I won’t’ be offended. I’m a practical person, and I want the money I spent to be worthwhile. But not every present can be easily returned—items purchased as a final sale, gifts bought at a non-local store, online purchases without an easy return process, and hand-made goods pose a challenge. Rather than abandoning these presents to the corners of the closet where they go to waste, why not throw a regifting party and give these gifts another chance to shine.  One woman’s unwanted gift is another woman’s new favorite thing, so to speak. 

Don’t Forget Donations

I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about donating unwanted items. Of course, of course, of course, you can and should do that. Here’s a list of local non-profits or learn more about the Recreation Therapy Fund at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford. My family makes monetary donations to our favorite non-profits each December, participates in toy drives and adopt-a-family programs, and we donate clothing and other household goods each January, so I don’t feel particularly guilty about getting together with friends to regift a few items rather than donating them. But why not do both? Ask your guests to bring two items to the party: one to regift and one to donate. Maybe this is a great way to jumpstart a charitable mindset for the new year. 

Here’s to hoping you get everything you want on your holiday wishlist and maybe one thing you don’t.



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