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Frugal Christmas Idea: Re-Gifting Get-Together

photo by krisdecurtis

Leisa emailed me with a creative idea:

Today I had a Re-Gifting Potluck Lunch at
my home with 6 of my friends.  We have all received lots of gifts over
the year that don't fit, aren't our style, can't use, can't re-gift, etc. So today my girlfriends each brought a lunch dish to share
as well as all their new-in-box-never-used gifts. 
Before we enjoyed lunch together we bartered and traded the items
that we brought!  I gave away several of the way-too-many candles I
have received as gifts,
make-up, nail polish, and other items I just won't ever use.

the great "deals" I got was a DVD for my hard-to-shop-for
18-year-old family member and a collection of green-and-red Christmas
themed items for a basket for my sister-in-law (table runner, candle,
fingertip towels, and Christmas platter, each of which came from a
different friend!). In addition, I also got several small children's gifts that I will
be using when my 4- and 7-year olds are invited to birthday parties.

Everyone went home happy and we have already decided
to do this again next year. I have two more people done for Christmas
for free! You can't beat that for a frugal Christmas!  Of course, it
was also a great excuse to get together with friends.


I know some folks aren't too keen on "re-gifting" but if it's something you feel comfortable with, this could be not only a fun thing to do in the next week or two, but it could save you some

In a similar vein, I was thinking that if you have friends who are into couponing and bargain shopping, perhaps you could get-together and do an exchange with some of the extras you might have on hand from sweet almost-free or free deals you've picked up in recent months which would be suitable for gifts or gift baskets.

Have any of you all done something like this? If so, I'd love to hear!

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  • Wow, what a great idea! I’ve never done anything like that but maybe I should start. I’ve heard of people doing Christmas cookie exchanges, too.

  • Becca says:

    Thanks so much! I thinking about doing this following the holiday. EXCELLENT IDEA!!!!

  • jessica says:

    i think this is a wonderful idea!!!!!!!

  • tammy says:

    Wow! Thanks for the GREAT idea!!! I’m going to see if anyone I know is interested and set one up!

  • Stacy says:

    The mom crowd in my neighborhood just did a fun party like this a few weeks ago. We had lots of stuff to choose from and laughed and laughed at some of the items. It is amazing what you can dig out of your closets.

    We had a great time and are planning to do it again next year.

  • Michelle H. says:

    For Christmas we’re giving our 2 year old a brand new, still in the box lego table that a friend’s son got as a gift and never opened.

    In exchange, she got a box of my free CVS loot that she needed.

    Win/win for both of us!

  • jan says:

    Wow what a super great idea! I am very into re-gifting.

  • JC says:

    Our church did something similar, except the money used to “purchase” these gifts went to the Missionary fund!

  • Andrea Cook says:

    What a great idea! I like that!

    My toddler has been re-gifting little books to her friends for their birthdays or for ‘hostess’ gifts at playdates.

    I just go through and pick a little book that I hope my kids won’t miss and my tot puts a sticker ribbon on it. It’s been fun to see her friends accept the gift and walk around with it.

  • Rebekah says:

    WOW! Great out-of-the-box-thinking! I’m going to try this!

  • Jenni Stearns says:

    Our Ladies Bible Study just did this today! We brought in kids clothes, picture frames, really anything that was in good shape for a huge exchange. It was wonderful! The kiddos are going to love having new stuffed animals and new toys in their stockings, and parents love not having to pay for them! We gathered up all of the stuff we didn’t use and took it to St. Vincent de Paul. It was a great way to recycle some old things and save money for the Christmas holiday.

  • Jill says:

    My girlfriends and I do this whenever we all get together. We call it “Garage Sale” – however, we don’t exchange cash! Whoever says ME first, gets whatever it is the person is holding up. We have even had “meetings in the street” before entering the house to see what someone is offering up. Whatever is left at the end goes to Goodwill, and whoever is house the event is held at is responsible for getting it there! It’s amazing the things the girls bring…everything from sunglasses, clothes, dishtowels, holiday decorations and even a box of tampons (from the one girl in our group who thought she was going through early menopause – she gave the box, and viola, she had a little visitor the next week!).

  • LANA says:

    My friend and I exchanged items like this, but not for the holidays (but we should)! We both stocked up on items when we were expecting our babies only 2.5 weeks apart. I gave her all of my free formula from the manufacturers, such as Nestle and Similac, since I am nursing. In return she gave me soothers that her son wouldn’t use. Perfect!!!

  • Rebekah says:

    WOW! Great out-of-the-box-thinking! I’m going to try this!

  • Nissa says:

    That sounds like a ton of fun! I wonder if I could plan one..

  • Kansas Mom says:

    My family has decided to do this for Christmas this year instead of presents. Everyone is bringing something from their house that just doesn’t fit anymore and we’re going to have a drawing. We’re all in it for fun rather than getting some “great” gift (though I think what I’m bringing is pretty good).

    I regift books my kids receive all the time. I’m trying to be very discerning in their reading material and sometimes things aren’t exactly what I’d pick. So I give it to another child that I think will enjoy it more or I trade it on

  • Andrea says:

    I am a HUGE fan of re-gifting! One year my only job was a part-time preschool teacher and had no money to buy Christmas gifts. However, I did receive a ton of gifts from the kids in my class! So… I had plenty of candles and Starbucks gifts cards to pass around!

    I love the idea of having a re-gifting party! Definitely going to have to plan that sometime! I might just have to be careful who I invite! Heehee.

  • Emily says:

    I agree, regifting or doing a ‘gently used’ gift exchange is a wonderful idea. We did a similar exchange with my mother’s group last year and it was lots of fun and I ended up with something useful. It is good for the environment too!

  • Margery says:

    Some of the ladies at my church have a clothing and toy swap at someone’s house early in the month of December. We all bring a brunch item to eat, and all our outgrown kids’ clothing, unwanted adult clothing, toys, books, kitchen gadgets or anything. It is all set up like a garage sale, and then we all go “shopping” where everyone takes what they like for free!! It is totally fun, and the leftover clothing, etc. can be taken back home or will be carted off to charity. It’s the best Christmas party I’ve ever been to! Sometimes they also do a cookie swap together with it.

  • Pam says:

    I love this idea – I am doing a cookie swap this weekend, but in January I am totally doing a re-gifting party – perfect way to utilize the gifts we can’t use!

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