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Need a last-minute gift that’s both laziness- and supply chain-friendly? Look no further than your own things.
Yet another outgrowth of the pandemic reset, regifting is the perfect way to funnel your next purge in a way that benefits your friends and family. Have a clown sweater that may not be right for you? Chances are high that you know where its real spiritual home lies.
“If you had a good experience with an object, energetically it gives it a good feeling to the person you give it to,” said Angela Dimayuga, a chef and cookbook author, who shared her own gift idea below. The bonus? “Then you get to see it on your friend’s body or in your friend’s home.”
While regifting once seemed tacky, it’s being recast as a more thoughtful and sustainable way to shop. That said, it’s still early days: Whether or not you come clean about the upcycled object’s origin is up to you. As Patti Harrison, a comedian who also shared her idea below, said, “I won’t tell if you won’t ask.”
Alexis Nelson, 29, wild food forager and writer; Columbus, Ohio; @blackforager (Instagram), @alexisnicole (TikTok)
“I have an amazing sweater that I lovingly call ‘the Clown Sweater,’ with different primary-colored pompoms all over it. It’s not serving me anymore, but I have another friend who, like me, loves the quirk and has made a comment about it before. Spoiler alert!”
Jing Gao, 34, founder of Fly By Jing, a Sichuan condiment company; Los Angeles; @jingtheory
“I have a lot of plants, so I do clippings and plant them so they grow into bigger plants. I have a lot of small pots around because I’m always replanting, so reusing those is easy. Succulents grow quickly and are relatively hard to kill. They’re a good gift for almost everyone!”
Brandon Kyle Goodman, 35, actor, writer and voice on “Big Mouth,” season 5; Los Angeles; @brandonkylegoodman
“I just cleaned out my storage unit in Manhattan Mini Storage, which I had for 10 years. Three weeks ago, my business manager was like, ‘You have to clear this out immediately.’ The only thing I knew was in there was an Oprah 25th-anniversary coffee table book. It’s the only reason I kept the unit! I’d say the gift is just for them — pray over it and then hand it to them with love.”
Lauren Chan, 31, plus-size model and founder and C.E.O. of the size-inclusive clothing company, Henning; New Yor; @lcchan
“I’m obsessed with the treasure hunt of vintage art. I’m always finding things I love and tend to switch things out a lot, much to my husband’s dismay when I ask him to reconfigure the wall. Right now there’s a tear from an Arthur Elgort book on my wall of three women at the beach that makes me think intently and fondly of some of my best friends.”
Jordan Firstman, 30, “writer, actor, whatever” who just joined the cast of a new Netflix comedy starring Jonah Hill, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and others; Los Angeles; @jtfirstman
“My ex-boyfriend made a 3-D rendered face mask of my own face. It was a bad relationship, so my eyes are so dead in this rendering. And a very known, eccentric community alcoholic did drop the mask and shatter it, so the bottom half is no longer there. I’m sure there’s someone out there on the internet that would want the outer layer of me.”
Sandy Liang, 30, designer, Target collaborator and fish enthusiast; New York; @sandyliang
“I love fish tanks and aquascaping. I have two tanks in my tiny apartment, and we decided to get a newer, nicer, slightly bigger one. I’ve been trying to gift them away, and people are like, ‘We also live in a tiny apartment.’ I want to give my brother a tank and help teach him how to set it up, et cetera to provide the mentorship.”
Patti Harrison, 31, a comedian recently nominated for the Independent Spirit Award for best female lead for her work in “Together Together”; Los Angeles; @party_harderson
“During lockdown, with all the Zoom premiere events, I got all these random bottles of alcohol and mixers that I don’t have a sophisticated enough tool set to use for myself. I’ll put all these airplane bottles in a bucket and bind it mummy-style with tape. For it to look bad is most authentic! I’ll give it to someone in my family because, the truth is, we love free stuff.”
Angela Dimayuga, 36, chef and author of “Filipinx: Heritage Recipes from the Diaspora;” Brooklyn, N.Y.; @angela.dimayuga
“When I travel, I get really special honey from wherever I am. When you taste honey side by side, you can taste the nuances in flavor, whether it’s pine honey from Greece vs. chestnut honey from France. It’s not just a sweet syrup! Sometimes I have repeats or ones that taste similar, so if I give two jars to someone, they can start their own honey library.”
Kevin Morby, 33, musician who just toured in support of his latest albums, “A Night at the Little Los Angeles” and “Sundowner”; Overland Park, Kan.; @kevinmorby
“Last year I ended up with multiple pairs of nunchucks, as it became my quarantine hobby. Now I have too many pairs, and it’s time to spread the wealth.”
J.J. Martin, 48, founder of La Double J, which recently partnered with 1stDibs on a tabletop collection; @jjmartinmilan
“One of my favorite things to regift is crystals. They come in from friends and stay in my home for awhile on my altar, or I may travel with them and set them inside different earth grids and then send them off with someone else. This sounds crazy, I know. But it isn’t. You’re literally passing the light along.”
Answers have been lightly edited for clarity.