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    Re-gifting 101

    It happens to everyone at some point. You receive a gift that is impractical or doesn’t fit your style. It may be just plain ugly, but you don’t want to hurt the giver’s feelings, so you smile and promise yourself to tuck it away where you don’t have to deal with it again. Then, you have the bright idea to re-gift it to someone else who you forgot to buy for or who would be better suited for the item. Before you re-gift any present, consider the following.

    Make Sure the Gift Fits the Person

    You know how it feels to receive a gift that doesn’t fit your personality or needs. Don’t do the same thing to someone else. If you received a book on gardening and you have a black thumb, make sure you pass it on to someone who actually likes to spend time playing in the dirt.

    Don’t Give Away Gifts from Special People

    If a beloved family member gave you a gift, then keep it. Even if you never plan to use the item, it really is the thought that counts. This goes double when the gift has special meaning. Perhaps it was an antique handed down from generation to generation. The one exception to this rule is if you plan to pass it on to another family member.

    Choose a Recipient from Outside the Circle

    If you plan to give away a gift, make sure it’s to someone not closely tied to the original giver. For instance, don’t give away Aunt Sue’s gift to you to Cousin Kate, her youngest daughter. If you stay within the same circle, you risk some awkward moments as everyone figures out where the gift originated from. Also, be aware that the gift you’re giving away may have already been re-gifted. You don’t want to end up giving it back to the original sender.

    Don’t Re-gift Everything

    Sure, there’s the occasional gift that will never be used or just doesn’t fit. But if you’re re-gifting everything you get, you need to reevaluate. Perhaps a few words telling someone what you really like or explaining that you don’t need anything for your home will prevent more unwanted presents.

    Remove the Name Tag and Wrapping Paper

    Don’t just pass the gift on “as-is.” Make sure you remove the name tag, which could lead to an embarrassing situation. Also, take the gift out of the bag or wrapping paper. Take a few minutes to make the gift unique and brand new for the next recipient.

    Consider holding on to the item for a less special occasion. Re-gifted presents are better for a “thinking of you” occasion rather than a birthday or Christmas. You should also be willing to let the person know it was a re-gift. Just say, “When I was given this book, I immediately thought of you. Since you are a much better gardener than I am, I thought it would receive better use.” It shows you still put some thought into the gift, and you aren’t trying to pretend you went out and bought something special.

    Just take the time to think about what could happen before you pass a gift on. You don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings over an item you didn’t really want.

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