December 22nd, 2010

How to Regift With Grace

by Jacqueline Whitmore

If you’re feeling the pinch, want to save a little money, but still want to bring a gift to the party, you might consider exploring the depths of your storage closet for a gift that you either don’t want or can’t use.  If the idea of regifting seems inappropriate to you, it shouldn’t.

According to a 2010 survey conducted by Money Management International (a nonprofit, full-service credit-counseling agency), 58 percent of respondents say they regift or are considering doing so.  When budgets are tight, regifting makes good economic sense.  You needn’t feel guilty about passing on a gift to someone else, however, if you plan to regift, you must first observe some important guidelines.

  • The gift should be in good condition.  Give the gift in its original box and keep all the seals intact.
  • If you give something perishable, check the expiration date to ensure that the item is still fresh.
  • Regift in different social circles.  Play it safe and don’t regift to someone who might know the person who originally gave the gift to you.  To avoid confusion, put a sticky note on the gift to remind yourself when the gift was received and from whom.
  • Know your receiver’s tastes.  Before you regift, ask yourself if the receiver will enjoy, appreciate, and use the gift.  If you’re not certain, save the gift for another occasion.
  • Remove any evidence that the gift was originally given to you.  Don’t forget to check to see if a card has been tucked inside the gift.  A friend once gave me a candle as a hostess gift.  When I opened the box, I discovered a card addressed to her!  Luckily, I didn’t open it in her presence!
  • Retire unwanted gifts. If you know you’ll never use that old bottle of cologne, canned ham, stale fruitcake, or itchy sweater, give the item to charity or recycle it in the wastebasket.
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