National Re-Gifting Day is celebrated on the third Thursday of December of every year. This year, it takes place on December 15. It aims to encourage the practice of re-gifting across the United States. Re-gifting refers to the act of taking a gift and giving it to someone else, often under the guise of a new gift. National Re-Gifting Day originally started off as an office holiday during the holiday season wherein co-workers would often re-gift gifts that they received and don’t really want. Re-gifting, barring a few conditions, can be a very efficient way of repurposing unused items.
History of National Re-Gifting Day
The term ‘re-gifting’ was first popularized in a 1995 episode of the sitcom “Seinfeld” called ‘The Label Maker,’ where a label maker is re-gifted from one character to another. The actual practice, of course, pre-dates the show by many years. The British term for a gift that is passed around a group is ‘matham.’ National Re-Gifting Day originally started off as an office holiday during the holiday season where co-workers would often re-gift gifts that they received and didn’t really want. A fascinating part of the culture of workplace re-gifting is the practice of White Elephant gift exchanges, in which gifts are exchanged between co-workers by ‘stealing’ gifts you want for yourself from other people. On October 24, 2008, the state of Colorado announced December 18 to be National Re-Gifting Day.
Think about the coffee mug you don’t have any use for or the label maker you don’t want anything to do with. Save for a few occasions, re-gifting can be a sustainable way of making use of an item that you initially thought you would discard or leave to collect dust on a shelf. However, it is important to keep in mind a few rules when deciding on whether to re-gift an item or not. Make sure that the gift you’re passing along has never been used, is devoid of any sentimental value, is not personalized, and is actually a good fit for the recipient.
National Re-Gifting Day timeline
White Elephant gift exchanges, where the concept of ‘stealing’ or swapping fun or humorous gifts, enter the Western lexicon.
The “Seinfeld” episode, ‘The Label Maker,’ grants the act of re-gifting legitimacy and even fosters broad cultural currency.
The state of Colorado declares National Re-Gifting Day a national holiday.
The first National Re-Gifting Day is celebrated.
National Re-Gifting Day FAQs
Is it wrong to re-gift a gift?
No, it’s not — as long as you do so ethically and thoughtfully.
What is the most re-gifted gift?
Socks, alcohol, and scented candles are known to be the most widely accepted items to be re-gifted to other people.
Why is it rude to decline gifts?
Barring a few situations in certain contexts, it usually is rude to decline gifts because it would be like rejecting a person’s good intentions.
National Re-Gifting Day Activities
Go through the knick-knacks you’ve received
To understand if you can actually re-gift anything this season, sort through the gifts you’ve received. See if there’s anything appropriate to re-gift.
Organize a White Elephant gift exchange
Gather a group of co-workers. Organize a White Elephant gift exchange with them.
Talk about it on social media
Re-gifting can often evoke a sense of shame in people. Talk about it on social media to promote the good habits of gift-giving that people may not be aware of!
5 Facts About Gift-Giving Culture In The United States
The number of recipients
The average shopper buys presents for approximately eight recipients each year.
Pets over friends
People are more likely to buy gifts for pets rather than for friends.
A generational divide
Baby boomers tend to give gifts to the least number of recipients in comparison to the other ‘adult’ generations, such as the Silent Generation and Generation X.
The average holiday shopping budget is $708.03.
About 80% of consumers report wrapping their own presents.
Why We Love National Re-Gifting Day
It promotes discussion around a taboo topic
National Re-Gifting Day is a good way to raise awareness about a taboo topic. It serves as a reminder that re-gifting is an acceptable thing to do.
It pushes a more economical alternative
Gift shopping can be hard on us during difficult times. Recycling gifts would be a more economical alternative to excessive spending.
It encourages an environmentally friendly practice
National Re-Gifting Day encourages re-gifting as a far more environmentally sound practice. It does so because it reduces production and waste.
National Re-Gifting Day dates