Throw this Seinfeld-inspired, shame-free Regifting Party

January 2 2015 | carolinediezyn
Don't worry, Elaine -- you can re-regift the label maker at a Regifting Party. Image from Seinfeld.
Don't worry, Elaine — you can re-regift the label maker at a Regifting Party. Image from Seinfeld.

We've talked about what to do with gifts you don't want on Offbeat Home & Life before. One of the suggestions is to regift — that wonderfully taboo idea many of us are familiar with thanks to Seinfeld.

Thanks to my extended family's incredible generosity but general cluelessness about what I want or need for Christmas, every year I find myself with a bunch of gifts that are very nice, but not quite what I want. After some conversations with friends in the same boat, I decided that regifting shouldn't be a dirty word. It should be an excuse for a party!

Plan it for after Christmas

This way, everyone's probably received everything they're likely to get, and the holiday buzz has died down a bit. Plus: the party doubles as a great excuse to gather all visiting friends under one roof.

Invite friends and tell them to bring any gifts they received that they'd rather regift than keep

Send them this Seinfeld clip. Let them know that Oprah's on board. Tell them there will be food and drink (or even make it a potluck and it can double as a clear out the pantry party).

Set the gifts on display

No need to re-wrap the regifts. Put them out on a table or even under the tree so guests can peruse them and see if there's anything they'd rather have. If there's a popular gift, draw straws to see who gets it.

Whatever's left gets donated

Anything leftover goes to the local women's shelter instead of in a forgotten corner of the house.

Eat, drink, watch Seinfeld

Drink the leftover cider, eat the leftover hors d'oeuvres, and watch "The Label Maker" episode of Seinfeld. Bonus points if one of the gifts being regifted was indeed a label maker!

What are your regifting techniques?

  1. This is a fantastic idea. Now that we're ask grown up, my extended family holds a white elephant-esque gift exchange instead of regular gifts. It's where I recycle all the scented lotion my coworkers give me for Christmas.

    But THIS gives me an idea for what to do with the gifts I can't take there because they're from someone in my family. 🙂

  2. I did this once years ago! I called it a Boxing Day party, even though it was in January. We invited people over and had everyone bring a regift. But we had everyone wrap them and they were distributed Yankee Swap style (with stealing). Everyone had a great time, and there were some gifts (dvd, board games, glassware).

  3. I regift without shame when it's a nice gift! A coworker got me a pair of earrings from her cousin's etsy shop. They were pretty, but I'm allergic to most metals. So I regifted them to a person in a completely different social circle. They were about what I would have spent on that person, too, since I could look up the price on etsy.

    I know this type of party would appeal to a lot of people I know, in the spirit of reducing waste and consumerism.

  4. Some friends of mine are doing this tomorrow! They did it last year too, and somehow I ended up bringing home more stuff than I brought 😛 It's a good time!

  5. I totally want there to be a funny element to it, like one of those pretentious silent auctions, and people can bid on the regifting items, but have them be ridiculous things, like "minimum bid, 10 moos and 2 quacks" so that it's not just drawing straws, but total hilarity. Can customize the bidding to be whatever your friend group is into. Like answering trivia questions, or reciting poetry, or doing funky dance moves, or answering truth/dare style prompts.

  6. I've never thrown or been to a regifting party, but it sounds like fun (especially in combination with a clean-out-the-pantry potluck, mmmm). My approach to unwanted gifts is to donate or consign them. We also have a gift drawer in our spare room for repeat gifts/hostess gifts/gifts that are developmentally innapropriate for our daughter but okay for younger kids. I grew up in a re-gifting friendly household, and hey, there's even a Fraggle Rock song about it: Pass It On!

  7. This is a great idea! I may have to try this soon. I have a relative who used to give really fantastic gifts based on exactly what the receiver wanted – but since she's discovered garage sales…let's just say that the gifts have gone really downhill and are rarely even anything useful, much less wanted. I frankly wish she'd just stop giving gifts altogether, it'd be easier than this just, obvious lack of trying. :/

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