Is it ever appropriate to re-gift?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 11,016
    Etiquette expert Nancy Mitchell discusses if it is appropriate to re-gift an item.

    Nancy Mitchell

    Nancy R. Mitchell is an established protocol and etiquette consultant and advisor with more than 30 years of experience in the field. Currently, she is an adjunct faculty member at George Washington University, where she developed and teaches protocol courses to Event Management Certificate Program students in the School of Business and Public Management, and at Stratford University, Falls Church, VA. She serves also as protocol and special events consultant to the Library of Congress, the world’s largest library and cultural center. For 23 years, Mitchell was Director of Special Events and Public Programs at the Library of Congress where she and her staff were responsible for planning and managing over 400 events each year. She coordinated the institution’s major special events, visits of heads of state and other foreign dignitaries, fundraising galas, conferences and meetings. As the Library’s chief protocol advisor, she served as liaison to the White House, U.S Department of State, the Congress, the Supreme Court and other government agencies, foreign embassies, academia and corporations. Mitchell owns The Etiquette Advocate, Inc., a firm providing etiquette and protocol training to corporations, universities, embassies, government agencies, non-profit organizations and individuals. She is the etiquette consultant to Engaged! magazine, has been featured on Good Morning America, Fox 5 News, WTOP Radio and National Public Radio, and is quoted on matters of etiquette and protocol by the New York Times, Washington Business Journal, and the Washington Post. She is a co-owner of the firm, Protocol Partners-Washington Center for Protocol, Inc., and is a member of the Protocol and Diplomacy International Protocol Officers Association and the Women Business Owners of Montgomery Country (MD).

    Host: Is it okay for me to re-gift an item?

    Nancy Mitchell: Absolutely, I think it needs times when we thinking about having less of an impact on our environment, think about re-gifting but here is the disclaimer; you have got to be extremely careful. Keep a gift log when gifts come in to you, write down when you received them, what the gift was, what the occasion was and who gave you the gift. Then if you know if something you will never use, you don t like it. It is going to sit on a shelf or it is going to go out to a charity. The next time the truck comes on your street and picks up the give away material, then put in the special place and think about re-gifting it. You cannot re-gift a gift that you have used or has come out of its original packaging. What is wrong with finding a decent home for that poor gift? It may not be something that you appreciate; it may be terrific for somebody else. Just be very-very careful of that it does not go back to the originator, it does not go back to someone who is close to the originator and would see it in their home, be very-very careful about that.

    Also, if have a very close relationship with someone I would not re-gift. That is the time when you go out and you find a gift that says the message that you were trying to convey if you will that I appreciate you, we are friends, I appreciate your business or in some cases I love you when it is boyfriend, girlfriend, it is husband, it is wife. You have to consider all of those options, if you will in the mix before you decided to re-gift. But why not it is collecting dust on your shelf?