Don't give a gift away you personally received

Dec. 26, 2011 at 6:26 a.m.

George Franklin is totally, completely, absolutely against regifting.

Standing in the lobby of Victoria's International House of Pancakes on Thursday morning, he was steadfast in his convictions as he and his girlfriend, Michelle Brown, shared a good natured, yet spirited debate about the issue.

"I believe if someone gives you a gift, don't re-wrap it and give it to someone else," said Franklin, 45, of Victoria. "I am not going to give something away that someone gave me."

When asked what he would do if his girlfriend were to give away a gift he gave to her, he replied, "I would teach her a valuable lesson. Next time, it would be so long before you received a gift from me that by the time you received it, you would appreciate it more."

Franklin is not alone in his feelings.

Although 58 percent of respondents in a recent MMI regifting survey indicated that regifting was acceptable, Franklin and others agree that it is still a major manners faux pas.

Several experts voiced their thoughts on the issue.

"It's not just rude, it's kind of tacky. I would rather see you give it to charity because then you're actually doing some good, not taking credit for having done something that you didn't," etiquette columnist Ceri Marsh reportedly said in a previous interview. "But really, just don't do it. It doesn't honor the thought behind the gift."

Greg Cohen, director of corporate communications at The Patrón Spirits Company said for the past couple of years, his company has focused its holiday marketing around the concept of eliminating re-gifiting.

A recent national survey conducted by The Patrón Spirits Company among adults 21 and up found that 68 percent of people claimed to have regifted or thought about regifting, said Cohen.

"Our campaign encourages people to 'Eliminate Regifting' by giving a gift everyone wants, a bottle of Patrón tequila of course," said Cohen, who said the campaign advertisements were running in numerous consumer magazines, online and on billboards in select cities.

In addition to the possibility of looking like a complete ingrate should the gift-giver find out, Crossroads residents agreed the thoughtless attempt to pawn off unwanted junk could quickly land the gift-giver in the proverbial doghouse.

"I don't think you should give presents that were given to you away to other people," said Gail Brocklebank, 40, of Victoria. "A special occasion is a special occasion. I'm going to give something from the heart."

"I prefer not to do it," said Debi Wagner, 59, of Victoria. "I like to get something special for that particular person."

Meanwhile, Victoria resident Franklin Okun said he tries to not put himself in a situation where he would receive a gift that he would later want to regift.

"If I don't like the gift, I give it back to them," said Okun, 28. "I won't collect the gift."

Likewise, he said he tries his best to not give others gifts that they may want to later regift.

"I ask what you want," said Okun. "I don't surprise."



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