By Britt Bickel
If you’re going to regift this Christmas, make sure you’re doing it the right way using The Emily Post Institute‘s 5 Rules of Regifting.
#1 Good gifts only
Regifting is perfectly acceptable, yet while this is a practical solution — especially in an economy that’s as weak as this one — you must give good gifts only. In other words, nothing from last year or two years ago. This is not an opportunity to clean out your closet. Think new items — whether a sweater or a bottle of perfume — that don’t necessarily match your tastes, but would be perfect, say, for your mother-in-law.
#2 Regift with care
Gifts must be unused, and in their original condition. Anything you have to dust off should NOT be regifted.
#3 Carefully examine the item
Any telltale signs, such as personal notes, must be removed. And never, ever regift one-of-a-kind items or something that was handmade especially for you. That’s just wrong.
#4 Match unwanted gifts with recipients
Only regift items if you think the recipient — whether a person or charity — will use, and appreciate the item. In other words, put some thought into this. Haphazard regifting is insensitive and obvious.
#5 Be careful not to give a gift back to the person who gave it to you
To avoid potential embarrassment — like the item making its way back to the original giver — only regift outside your immediate circle of family and friends. And don’t delay. If you wait too long, you may actually forget who the gift originally came from.