Here’s how and why you should regift your child’s (and your) unwanted gifts. You can save money and do it without being tacky!
Yes I Regift and I Save a Ton of Money
I’ve been regifting our unwanted gifts since my children were born.
The fact is since they were babies they receive too many gifts to truly be thankful for. And I receive too many invitations to other children’s events to buy gifts for.
This doesn’t mean that I have ever thoughtlessly given a gift to another. I have always been very strategic about it. And honestly, it wasn’t until about a year ago that I told one other person that I had been doing this for over 12 years.
No one ever noticed.
Not even my children. Not even when I would take away more than three-fourths of their opened presents and move them to the basement to the giveaway bin.
Some may see this as tacky. But for everyone that has ever seen the huge Rubbermaid box in my basement, they are simply amazed.
Why I Regift Unwanted Gifts
Babies, toddlers, and young children really don’t need very many gifts. In fact the younger they are, the less they need. It’s more about what the parents need that they can’t buy. After that, they open a ton of presents and usually settle on one, maybe two. They forget everything else they opened.
When my children were super young, it seemed like everyone wanted to buy them a toy. I tried asking people to buy them something more useful but I soon realized this brought the person who was buying them stuff too much joy. I gave up. Often, it can be more of a hassle than it’s worth to try to return items with a child in tow than to just keep it.
It never seemed to fail that a couple weeks later, I would have a birthday party to attend for another child. I would look at my child’s barely used presents everywhere and just wish I had never opened half of them. My child certainly didn’t care. I had more toys cluttering the floor. And now I had to take the child to the store and spend money on an identical toy.
I quickly realized this pattern would only continue as long as my kids were playing with toys. Basically, for another ten years.
When my first child was one, I had read the idea to take all but one or two toys and put them away and slowly give them to your child throughout the year. I was on board for this.
However, I quickly forgot about my first child’s toys when my 2nd child came around not even 6 months later. And of course, with a baby comes more gifts. For both children. Because people felt obliged to give my first child “older sibling gifts”.
My oldest quickly outgrew these toys that were sitting on the shelf in her bedroom. With a new baby in the house, we both forgot about them! I gave them away at various birthday parties. And thus the trend began.
I actually found that all the way until my children were 10 years old I was able to set aside some gifts from either Birthday or Christmas. Either they weren’t crazy about the gifts or they had a big party and simply didn’t notice it.
Why I Don’t Think It’s Tacky to Regift
I don’t feel bad about this at all! In today’s day of consumerism, if my child has so many toys and gifts surrounding them that they don’t notice when I set aside half or even 2 or 3 gifts then they simply have too many.
Often times when they didn’t like the present, I was able to convince them to add it to my “gifting box” as opposed to returning the item. This only happened as they got older and never was an issue with presents from friends, but more so when we received a gift from a distant relative that didn’t know the child well.
For many years I never had to make a trip to the toy store for any birthday party. I never had to worry about giving the gift to someone who gave it to us because we rarely put gifts in the box from other children. If we did, I tend to memorize exactly who gave what. But you could just as easily tape a piece of paper on the front of the box with a short inventory.
How Else You Can Use the Unwanted Gifts
One year, even after so many birthday parties, the box was overflowing so much, I was able to make a huge donation to a local charity for Christmas and help sponsor a family for the holidays.
My children no longer play with toys so now the box consists of gifts such as clothes that are not the correct size, toys that older people give them not understanding they aren’t into toys anymore, and I’ve begun filling it with things I’ve bought at Black Friday deals.
I’ve dug into the Rubbermaid box of unwanted gifts for
- white elephant gift exchange parties
- to make a gift basket for a charity
- small items are perfect for Operation Christmas Child boxes
- to round out our 12 days of Christmas presents to neighbors and teachers
We can almost always fill it up with brand new items and bless someone else. Just because my children aren’t interested in the gifts doesn’t mean someone else won’t love them!
Regifting: Yes or No?
So, what do you think? Tacky? Smart? Do you regift unwanted gifts?