The Official “Rules to Re-Gift By”

At some point in their life everyone over the age of 25 has re-gifted a gift, yet only the extremely honest or completely shameless will ever have the sack to cop to it.  The “Average” re-gifter adopts and follows the masturbation credo – “Lie, Deny, and I Swear Not I”, but in truth it’s not always wrong to regift (and masturbation is usually* fine too).  Sometimes re-gifting can make you a hero, or a superhero.  But beware, it’s much easier to be a douchebag regifter than a Re-Gifting Champion.

If Re-Gifting Is Wrong I Don’t Want to Be Right

One of the years that I was employed at Marvel Entertainment every employee received a goody-bag of comic related loot, shirts, hats, cloisonné pins, graphic novels, but the snooty French Pièce de résistance was a Marvel Comics Coffee Table Book Autographed by Stan Lee.  Which brings us to the first rule of re-gifting.

Rule 1: Re-Gifting is always acceptable if you receive an item that one of the people on your gift list would absolutely love.
Autographed by Stan Lee . . .Meh, who gives a shit.  My friend Joe B, that’s who.  He loved it!  So much so that it meant even more to him when I told him the truth about how I got it.  His response, “And you don’t want it?  Are you nuts?  Dude, Thanks so much.  Awesome just awesome” hardly sound like a guy that’s just been insulted by being set up with the fat ugly friend.  The result is everyone’s a winner, as the book is now safe-ly and lovingly encased in polypropalyne, as opposed to rotting on Ebay on some douchebag’s “Stuff I Took Out of Taddeo’s Trash” Ebay store.

More Thought = More Acceptability
I have a friend that decided in to go to law school in his early 30’s.  Between LSAT classes, entrance exam and his determination to graduate at the top of his class the guy basically was a legal monk.  Dude shut his life down for over 4 years in pursuit of Valedictorian, and although he achieved his goal, he’s completely lost in his knowledge of awesome films in that five year span.

Rule 2: Re-Gifting is always acceptable when you add value – Especially Thought.

Guy movie DVDs are a perennial holiday Man-Gift, unless you’re giving something to me because I’m a huge film buff and I pretty much buy every cool DVD on release day.  So the DVDs I receive are always extras that remain wrapped on the shelf.  However, one year I slapped 5-6 together that I had received from psuedo friends that didn’t even remember that they bought me a movie they had already watched at my house, and gave Frank, the “Movies You Missed While You Were Goofing Off on Law School” Pack.  The result, the guy is now completely fluent in both the rules of Fight Club, and all things Tarantino, while I remain $100 heavy, with spare room on my shelf and the douchbag psuedo friends don’t get upset by me saying, “I have this.  You watched it with me at my house Ass-head.”

Survive by Any Means Necessary.
The Penalty for killing a Bald Eagle is up to $100,000 fine, and up to a year in jail (I know, but stay with me.  I swear I’m going somewhere with this.)   However, if you’re stuck in a bald eagle desert for days, and you kill a bald eagle to eat it for survival the penalty is no cornbread or mash potatoes with your oddly patriotic “Endangered 8 piece chicken with no sides” meal.  The correlation between eating patriotic symbols and re-gifting –

Rule 3: Re-Gifting is OK in Extreme Emergencies
But I mean extreme!  An honest, “Dude!?  You bought me a gift?  I feel like a tool.  I didn’t think we were exchanging.  I’m so sorry Bro.  I got dinner and the Knicks Tix this Saturday”, and then paying for tickets, picking up the next dinner or big bar tab in reciprocity is a much better choice (Honesty being the best choice, how novel).  However, we all have a friend that’s a Mister Softee, who’ll be broken to pieces if he thinks that you forgot him, or worse and more common, the guy that bought you a gift who there is absolutely no way you want to spend a dinner or game with.  It’s ok to re-gift in situations that would lead to worse situations.

But tread carefully, even in emergencies!  The best quick re-gift items are “Commonly Used” items.  Re-gifting a bottle of Grey Goose, Common cologne, or the latest DVD release – Good.  Buying your way out of a night at the Devils game with a smarmy, know it all, one upper for the price of a Star Trek DVD is a huge score.  However, re-gifting something unique that might be spotted by the original gifter such as a shirt, fashion accessory or gag gift – Bad.  Very bad.

“Hey, how funny is this, John gave me the funniest thing for Christmas. . .”

“A what!?!  That’s what I gave him!! He’s a no good, dirty re-gifter!”

Happy Festivus!  And if you’re still not convinced to stay on the gifting “Straight and Narrow”, check out our article, “When Re-Gifting Goes Wrong.”

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