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Regifting in the Yankee Swap

A Yankee swap is possibly the easiest way to exchange gifts during the holidays. It doesn’t require much thought, the budget is set, and generic gifts will do. But there’s an often frowned-upon practice that penetrates most swaps… the regift.

Personally, I think the typical Yankee swap is pretty dull.  What do you get? Candles, ornaments, a throw blanket, a picture frame… Awesome. Yankee swap gift ideas tend to be on the safe side, which is fine… I guess. You have to get something that just about anyone would want, but it’s not that much fun. In my experience, you should go into a swap fully prepared to walk away with something you don’t want. The problem with this is that there’s usually someone who took the time to pick out something really nice that most anyone would want, which is great! Then they get stuck with a bag of Hershey Kisses in a coffee mug from the work party, or an “adult” board game from someone’s wacky Aunt Claire that was regifted. Is it fair? No. But the swap is not built to be fair. It’s a crap shoot.

It happens. You get a gift that you just don’t want, so you pass it along when you get the chance. It’s a regift. Hopefully, unbeknownst to the person who gave it to you. Could be a classic fruit cake, could be a leopard-print snuggie. Either way, you’re regifting that sucker. But what’s the big deal? There seems to be a stigma placed upon people who regift. They’re “cheap” or “thoughtless” or “crazy cat ladies.” It doesn’t have to be this way.

My friends and I have a Yankee swap every year and, for these reasons, it has become a requirement that every gift this year must be used or a regift.  It’s going to happen anyway, so why not embrace it. To be fair, my circle of friends usually takes this opportunity to make the most inappropriate low-brow jokes of the year, so no one really cares all that much about what they end up with. It’s more about the experience, spending some time together, and having some laughs. Isn’t that what it’s all about?

I could see this working in most circles. After all, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Wouldn’t you rather see the gift go to someone who could use it, instead of having it sit in a closet? Let’s just be open about our regifting.

What do our readers think about this? Agree? Disagree? Have some Yankee swap or regifting horror stories? Let’s hear it.

ABOUT AUTHOR / Andi

Andi is a Marketing Assistant at ACCC. He is passionate about supporting financial literacy efforts and helping to educate people on the Talking Cents blog!

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