Steven and Chris

Regifting: What Can You Really Get Away With?

Regifting can be tricky. Over the years it's been considered tacky, but now some people think it's chic, economical and eco-friendly. Lifestyle expert Andrea Bain shows us how to master the etiquette of regifting -- without getting caught or looking bad!

Is the gift actually regiftable?

That means it should not be opened, used or sitting in your basement for the last 5-10 years. Only regift items that are brand new or have sentimental value. If you don't like your gift it's ok to pass it along to a charity organization. Used perfume, clothes, half-eaten food or old appliances are not an acceptable regift.

Should you announce the regift?

It's OK to be honest, but only in certain circumstances. For example, if you are passing along a blanket your mother-in-law made for you to your daughter-in-law or a piece of jewelry aunt Edna gave you to your niece, tell them who originally gave it to you. The story behind a sentimental item can actually make the gift more endearing.

Avoid embarrassment

The key to avoiding a major regifting faux pas is to ensure that you are not regifting the person who gave you the present in the first place. To avoid this disaster get a regift basket or box and make sure you write down who gave you the present and the date they gave it.

Hold a White Elephant regift party

Regift with a clear conscience. Invite 10-15 people. Everyone must bring their wrapped regift. You put numbers 1-15 in a hat and everyone picks a number. Then the person who picks #1 picks a gift from the pile. All of the gifts are wrapped so you don't know what you're getting. Person #1 opens the gift. The second person can either take the gift from the #1 or pick from the pile underneath the tree. It goes on until the last person. Wikipedia has the rules for this fun party game here.

Rewrap the regift

There is a bottle of wine that's been around the world twice. So instead of just throwing it in a bag and passing it along put it in a basket with crackers and cheese and personalize it with the person's favourite magazine, candy or wine glasses. Wrap it in cellophane and put a ribbon on it.

Regift with good intentions

Buying gifts at Christmas time can get a little annoying and some people are the worst to shop for. It's tempting to give them that horrible fruitcake or some cheap knick-knack but remember, if you feel that the item is undesirable, so will they. If you are regifting because perhaps you forgot or ran out of time, get them a gift card instead.

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