How to “Regift” With Style!

This year, the holidays are probably going to be a little different from years past. With social distancing prompting the need for smaller family gatherings, you may be looking for ways to give thoughtful gifts and spread holiday cheer without putting yourself or others at risk.

Fortunately, there are ways to creatively reach out to family and friends with meaningful gifts, even when in-person shopping and face to face celebrations are limited.

Regifting gets a bad rap, but it shouldn’t, especially if you’re able to create a gift that’s more special than something you might buy. People are feeling isolated, and any gesture that closes that gap will be a welcome reprieve.

Regifting should be memorable, giving center stage to something precious. Heartfelt options will depend on your family’s personal history.

Here are five ideas to use or modify to create personalized and unique gifts for the people who matter most to you.

1. Favorite family recipes

If you have been holding out on giving someone your grandmother’s recipe for a favorite dish, this may be the year to fork it over!    

Instead of just sharing the recipe on an attractive note card, also consider making it. If the food is easy to transport (to someone who lives close) or to mail (to someone who is farther away), you can send it in a lovely dish you already have but seldom use.

You may even be able to pass along the original dish used to serve the food. For example, arrange Grandmother’s famous chocolate chip cookies on her favorite platter.

2. Heirloom items

If you have family heirlooms and are willing to share, this holiday may be a perfect time. But don’t simply wrap the item. Also, be sure to include a letter reminiscing about the heirloom and its story.

For instance, tell the recipient about how the item came into the family, its significance to the original owner, how it was passed down to you, and why they are the perfect person to own it now.

3. Memorabilia

If you have personal items to pass along, make sure they are a good fit for the recipient and tell them why you thought of them.

For instance, you could give a newlywed a love letter written by a grandparent plus their framed wedding photo. Include a message, “As you begin your journey with your new husband, I thought you might enjoy a reminder that our family has a long history of enduring love. I’ve included one of Grandma’s letters to Grandpa when he was serving in the military soon after they were married.”

4. Tools

If you own something used to build or create family memories, the next generation might cherish it.

For instance, the hammer a father or grandfather used to build the family home could mean the world to a son, daughter, or grandchild with similar skills or interests.

Similarly, a grandmother's scissors or thimble to make her quilts or dresses would have sentimental value to a member of the following generation who enjoys similar crafts.

5. Memories from past holidays

To regenerate fond memories of past gatherings, you may consider gifting a holiday item that the recipient remembers from their past.

“This is the candleholder that Grandma always displayed on her dining room table during the holidays—the one you wanted to light as soon as we arrived at her home. I thought you might enjoy sharing it with your daughter. I’ve also included a photo of us gathered around her table from 1983.”

Honor your history

Regifting in thoughtful ways helps you reinforce family connections, even if family members are far-flung this holiday season.

It’s a great way to encourage conversations about your personal and generational history and share family stories.

With just a little thought, personal effort, and careful consideration, regifting can create a memorable gift-giving season.