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Category:  Gifts

Related Links:  | HolidaysHalloweenChristmasGifts |

Re-Gifting

or Sharing the Joy

By Brenda Spagnola-Wilson

It never fails. Every year you get at least one gift that, thoughtful as it is, you simply cannot or will not be able to use. On top of that, sometimes it is simply impossible to return it for something more useful or more to your taste. This is where re- gifting comes in. For those unfamiliar with the term, this is taking a gift you have received and giving to someone who will be able to use it and appreciate it as it was intended.

Now I know that some of you are thinking that this is tacky, but honestly it's not. At least, it's not if you just follow a few basic rules.

1. First and foremost, always keep track of who gave the gift to you. The last thing you want to do is unintentionally give a gift back to someone! (How embarrassing!) Keeping a supply of items that can be re-gifted is a great idea, but be sure to have a list in there of who gave you which gift. Personally, I recommend attaching a little post-it note with the name of the giver and the occasion/date you received it.

2. Make sure that you clean any item you are re-gifting! After and item has been sitting for a while, you know it is going to get dusty/dirty. Take the time to properly clean the item before you wrap it up and pass it on. Boxes should be dusted, or if crushed you might want to place it in another box. Clothes can be made to look fresh by using a lint brush and/or shaking them out or even hanging them in a steamy bathroom to drop the wrinkles out. No one wants to get a gift they have to clean before they can use!

3. Don't give products from defunct companies. I actually got this tip from another person and it really is a good one. If you get a gift from someone and the company has since gone out of business, at the very least, remove it from the packaging with the company's name still on it and re-package it.

4. Hand-me-downs are NOT re-giftable. Those who are new to re- gifting might get confused here. Say you have a beautiful set of plates that you have taken out of the box, used once and then put away (in the original box) never to be used again. While giving them to someone who needs and can use them is fine, wrapping them up and presenting them as new is not. A re-gift is a gift you've never used that you're passing along. However, there is one exception to this rule. If you have something you don't need or use that someone has greatly admired and wished for (like that antique tea set just sitting in your china cabinet or a decorative painting), then giving that item as a gift is acceptable. This falls under the category of giving a very personal item to someone you know will love and enjoy it.

5. Don't give something you've owned for a while. Another good tip from a friend. This violates the hand-me-down rule. Besides, would you want a gift that you have seen sitting getting dusty in someone else's house? The above exception also is in effect on this one.

6. Re-wrap the gift! Next to leaving the previous tag on the gift, the biggest mistake most people make in re-gifting is to leave the gift in the original torn up, battered container. If the box is messed up, re-box it and then re-wrap the gift.

7. Gift Cards. If you have received a gift card to a store that you will never use, it is fine to give it to someone who will. However, please make sure of the amount of the card before you give it to someone. With popular stores (like Wal-Mart or Target), you may find that you have several of these gift cards (I've always got one or two). Make sure that you are giving one that has the full amount on it and not one that you have used and only has part of the original balance on it. Not only that, make sure you write the amount of the card on it somewhere. It's annoying to have to take a gift card to customer service just to find out how much you have to spend!

8. Do re-gift champagne and other adult beverages. Many people give liquor as gifts during the holidays when they come to parties, or simply because they think the person will like it. If you have been given a bottle of something that you know you will never drink, please feel free to give it to someone whom you know will enjoy it. But please make sure you are giving to someone who will drink it. For those that don't drink, sparkling cider would be a better choice.

9. Do sell your gifts on eBay. If you receive something that you don't think you will be able use or re-gift, consider auctioning it off and using the money to buy something you like. Oh, and those gifts we said not to re-gift? EBay is a great option for those, as well!

10. Keep it to yourself! Okay, let's be honest about this – do you really want to know that the gift you are receiving is something that someone else didn't like, want or need? While it may be alright to say you are re-gifting in certain circumstances (remember that antique tea set?), in most cases, silence is golden. Don't spoil the pleasure someone is getting from your gift by saying anything, just let them enjoy!

11. Re-gifting – again and again and again… Re-gifts can be great gag gifts! I once heard of two siblings who mailed the same holiday card back and forth to each other for years. There is no reason not to have fun with re-gifting as long as the recipients get the joke!

There it is – a basic list of the do's and don'ts of re-gifting. So go thru the gifts. Not only will you save some money, but you will declutter at the same time. But most of all, you will be giving your family and friends gifts that you know they will love and enjoy for many years to come.

Brenda Spagnola-Wilson is a SAHM of 2 from the Houston, TX area. In her spare time she likes to write articles on frugal living, decorating, home improvement and other home related topics.

 

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Related Links:  | HolidaysHalloweenChristmasGifts |

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