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Dear Jido,

What is the protocol when you are “regifted” something you bought for someone for a birthday or Hanukah, etc.? I have no problem with my gift being kept, sold, donated, or gifted to someone else. But given back to me?! I found the surprise regift hurtful and insulting.

How should I respond since I am the one who bought it in the first place? Normally I'd send a thank-you note. Should I reply with a joke, be ironic, or find a regift of my own? I would appreciate your advice.

Signed, Regifted


Seems to me like you are sure that they did it on purpose. Perhaps it
was a mistake?

In either case, you have to send the same thank you note that all bar mitzvah boys send: “Thank you for your thoughtful gift. May we share many more semachottogether.”

Now let’s consider your options:

Unless you know for sure, or someone told you that they were told directly, that these people are sending you back your gift, you have no choice but to “dan l’chaf zechut.” You MUST “give them the benefit of the doubt.” Imagine if it was a mistake and you confront them accusingly– besides their embarrassment, it could be the end of the friendship or, at least, put a severe crimp in your relationship.

But let’s say they actually did do it intentionally because they REALLY didn’t like your gift and wanted to send you a message. So,what’s their message?

“How dare you send us a gift like that? Don’t you know who we are?”

Send them the thank you card as above. If it was an error, they’ll never know and you already forgave them. If it was intentional, be bigger than them. Don’t worry, THEY will say something.