Christmas is the most wonderful time of year. We’ve got the chestnuts roasting on an open fire, we’re rocking around the Christmas tree, and we’re generally wishing it really could be Christmas every day.
There is so much to love about it. It’s a chance to show our appreciation to people through gifting. But it’s fair to say we don’t always get it right.
Yes, while our living rooms may be full of presents on Christmas Day, there will be some presents that quickly get earmarked as ones to regift.
Regifting has always divided opinion. On the one hand, it’s ensuring anything unwanted doesn’t go to waste, and it’s given to someone who will appreciate it. On the other, it can potentially be deemed ungrateful.
As we all start putting our Christmas lists together and, more crucially, start spending our money on others, here at The Works, we’ve surveyed the nation to uncover their thoughts around regifting and, perhaps more importantly for you and I, exactly what sort of gifts are going on the regift pile…
A nation of regifters? What does your typical regifter look like?
While the majority of the nation does not regift, 40% of the nation do, and for a variety of reasons too.
Exploring the make-up of a typical regifter, you’re much more likely to find women passing on unwanted presents, with around half doing so compared to just 29% of males. They’re likely to be from a younger generation, with the over-55s more than 10% less likely to regift compared to those aged between 25 and 34.
Millennials are the most likely to regift, with 47% happy to do so, while over 40% of those aged 16-24 and 45-54 are also regifters.
Regifting around the country: Where are presents being rewrapped?
The typical regifter, a millennial woman, is most likely to come from across the Irish Sea, with over 50% of people in Northern Ireland redirecting unwanted presents on to others.
Those living in the region are 7% more likely than those living in Wales, where 46% of people regift. Over 40% of people living in London, the North East and the East Midlands are also regifters.
Residents of Yorkshire and the Humber are the least likely regifters, as less than a third of people from the likes of Leeds, Sheffield and Hull reparcel unwanted presents and send them on to a more appreciative home.
But how many of us get caught?
Of course, one of the biggest dangers of regifting is getting caught by the person who gifted you the item in the first place.
Yes, it’s a regifters worst nightmare to be confronted on something they’re passing on, especially if they’re giving it back to the person who gifted them the item in the first place. But getting caught out happens more than you may think.
Approximately one in 10 regifters are caught out, meaning if you do it a couple of times per year, even outside of Christmas, it isn’t going to take long to be rumbled. Especially if you’re a man…
Over double the amount of men get caught to women when it comes to regifting, despite the fairer sex being 18% more likely to regift. Less than 7% of females are caught compared to over 14% of males. So, gents, if you are passing gifts on, be a little more careful.
Or perhaps even take a leaf out of the ladies’ book. Women are much more likely to wait over seven months before regifting, suggesting that if you are going to pass on your pressies, patience could be the key. On the other hand, a quarter of all men wouldn’t wait at all.
The younger generation appears to be the main offenders when it comes to being caught in the act, with one in five people under the age of 34 being not quite as discreet as they should be.
The over-55s on the other hand, have their tactics pretty watertight. Only 3% get caught out regifting. Millennials take note. In fact, your grandparents may have even regifted to you…and you never even knew about it.
Naturally, with the Northern Irish being the biggest regifters, they also have a habit of being caught out regularly. One in five gifters from the region find that to be the case, with over a quarter of people from the region feeling both guilty and deceitful.
However, it’s Londoners who just edge it with being the clumsier regifters, with 21% having been caught doing so. Residents of Wales and the South West are the best at passing gifts off as their own, with less than 5% getting caught in each region.
How do we feel about regifting?
Largely people are unfazed by regifting, with around 90% of respondents not feeling guilty or deceitful about it. That's hardly surprising given that we live in a world where we should be thinking about our consumption, and recycling and regifting is a large part of that.
What is surprising is the age breakdown of those who do feel guilty and deceitful. It's not the carefree younger generation who don't feel guilty - it's over 55's, with 50% feeling unbothered by it.
What are we most likely to regift?
The most unwanted gifts we most commonly pass on are health and beauty products. That’s especially the case for women, with almost one in five likely to rewrap such products, while just under one in 10 are clearly still receiving Lynx Africa sets from elderly relatives and palming them off to others.
Across all ages, health and beauty products were the most unwanted gifts, while overall, for both males and those aged 35-44, alcohol is the most common gift to be passing on, with bottles of wine or beer sets often gifted by colleagues and family members.
Interestingly, games and puzzles feature high on the regifting list among the under-24s, while around one in 10 overall regift books. Of course, the latter is an ideal present to regift once you’ve finished it, spreading the joy of a good read.
Clothing also features in the top five, while just outside of that are candles, which are also the most regifted present in Scotland.
Most unwanted gifts by region
In six out of the 12 regions, health and beauty products are the least wanted gifts, with four regions typically disappointed by receiving alcohol. Only residents of Greater London and Scotland offered an alternative opinion, with those in the former most likely to regift clothing.
The capital are seemingly most likely to receive an unwanted gift, with 15% of people also likely to give away alcohol they receive, as well as 13% offering their health and beauty gifts to other people. However, Londoners are a much bigger fan of candles and over 8% less likely to regift them compared to the Scots.
The Northern Irish are most likely to regift their health and beauty products, with almost a quarter doing so, while one in five are also keen to reparcel books. A dagger to the heart of us here at The Works!
Giving and receiving: Who are the main culprits?
While you may have thought that colleagues or family members who don’t know us all that well may be the most likely to deliver us bad gifts, it’s actually our friends that we’re most likely to receive something we don’t want from.
It’s proving to be a vicious cycle too, as we’re also most likely to regift to our friends, with 42% of all presents passed on being done so to them.
Colleagues, unsurprisingly, are high up the list too, with around one in eight people receiving unwanted gifts from them. Equally, it seems like Secret Santa may well be a regifting haven as around a quarter of all gifts that are passed on go to them. So, if you receive a beauty set for Secret Santa, chances are, it’s being passed on!
It seems that our parents don’t always know best, particularly when it comes to giving gifts to their sons. Just over one in 10 males receive unwanted gifts from their parents, 4% higher than females. It’s especially the case with Gen Z adults, who are more likely to receive an unwanted gift from their parents than anybody else. And that’s closely followed by Grandparents.
What’s the answer?
There is nothing wrong with regifting presents. Alongside taking gifts to the charity shop, it’s one of the more sustainable ways to treat unwanted gifts.
Of course, you could also always get a loved one or colleague something they do want. Spend a bit more time exploring the Christmas gifts they may want, whether that be the best-selling recipe book on the shelves or unequivocally not socks, which we’re sure many men will identify with.
At The Works, we have a great range of Christmas gifts for all the family, from top-selling fiction to arts and crafts for those with a creative streak. With Christmas around the corner, it’s time to start to think about your gifts so they don’t end up being next year’s Secret Santa…