There’s an exciting movement out there known as Buy Nothing fueled by social media sites that let you exchange free items with neighbors. The point of the trend is that nobody has to shell out money to buy something (or make a trip to the thrift store to get rid of something).
And it’s in this Buy Nothing spirit that we bring you our regift guide, where you shop your home for people on your nice list and avoid the long lines in crowded stores that usually come with holiday shopping. Bonus: You’ll also declutter!
After all, while you may not need (or want) that pine-scented body lotion, it might be someone else’s dream present. So here are seven gifts that you can keep right on (re)giving.
In case there’s a debate: Candles are indeed a nice present, but what smells good to one person may make another’s nose crinkle and eyes water. Do you have a sensitive nose but a candle (or three) scented with wet grass and musk? Rather than letting it collect dust in your cabinets, consider regifting it.
“Candles are a safe gift for pretty much everyone, meaning you accumulate a lot of them as gifts and then use them again for regifting,” says designer Jaime Huffman, of Charleston Blonde. “I often get a lot of holiday-scented candles. But there are only so many I can burn in November and December! So I like to regift those, especially so others can enjoy burning them during the holidays.”
2. Good wine or liquor
Bottles of wine or alcohol can be great presents to receive if they’re something you want to imbibe. But if it’s a coffee liqueur (and you’re off caffeine) or a bottle of absinthe (when you hate the taste of licorice), it might just be time to regift.
“Good wine or liquor is a favorite for sure,” says designer Doreen Amico-Sorell, of Sorell Interiors. “You may not like it for yourself, but the regiftee may love it. And even better if it’s expensive.”
Another item you may have kicking around that makes for a great regift? Kitchenware such as fun cookie cutters, baking equipment, or even one of those weird automatic wine openers.
So if you receive anything that will only clutter your kitchen drawers as a gift, keep it in the original packaging. Then add a bow or a card and pass the present to the next person (who hopefully has more drawer space than you).
“It seems like we all have that one relative who gives us a new spatula or mixing bowl every year,” says Huffman. “Pair the gift with a baking mix or cookbook for a nice themed present.”
Regifting books can be a great way to share your love of reading while still keeping your personal library in check. So scour your shelves to see if you’ve received a book you know you won’t read or for a duplicate of a tome you already own.
“Books are something you can regift super easily and turn into a meaningful present,” says Huffman. “Especially if you’ve [gently] read and enjoyed the book. Sharing it is a great way to connect.”
5. Festive decor
Many people like kitschy decor, but you may not be one of them (and that’s OK). The good news is that holiday decor also makes for a great stocking stuffer, especially for people you don’t know well—like co-workers or neighbors. And if you’re invited to a white elephant party?
“Festive decor is a slick item to regift,” says Amico-Sorell.
The best rule of thumb for regifting decor is to keep it classy and small. A tree ornament or two is great, but keep a giant Rudolf display for yourself (or better yet, donate it).
This regift takes a bit more gall to pull off, but you can do it—especially if you have a friend who loves new accessories way more than you. So whether it’s a funky hat from your aunt, a belt, or a bag, you can easily regift these items as a fun fashion present. Or, in the case of that unwanted ugly Christmas sweater, a gag gift.
“Have you received a pair of earrings that don’t suit you but know someone they’d look fabulous on?” says Huffman. “Go ahead and regift them. Accessories can be tough to get right when gifting because of individual differences in style. But it’s easier than clothes since you’re not contending with different sizes.”
7. Fancy soaps or lotions
Much like candles, soaps and lotions can be highly individual. But if you get a collection of really nice ones—it’s OK to regift them, as long as they’re unopened.
“If you’ve accumulated enough soaps and lotions to stock your own bath goods store, it’s time to regift some of those,” says Huffman. “Whether it’s a scent you don’t love, or you have too many products, a nice soap and lotion bundle is always appreciated. Then, turn the gift into a total spa moment by wrapping them in a nice basket with a plush towel or pair of socks.”
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