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Should You or Shouldn't You? 

Tips for pulling off the re-gifting thing


It's Christmas morning. Your entire extended family—including your parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles, and even cousins whose names you can't remember— have traveled great distances to come together and celebrate. You have prepared yourself in advance by perfecting the appearance of the natural looking smile and rehearsing the ever-enthusiastic "Thank you!" The room is silent and thick with anticipation as you begin to rip open the first gift of many from your well-intentioned relatives who know next to nothing about you.

Bright knitted sweaters, no-name perfume sets and packs of underwear designed for a child but sized for an adult: we've all received these unwanted presents that get packed away as soon as the giver is gone and then eyed the next year when looking for a gift for that white elephant party. Re-gifting is undoubtedly convenient, but when is it appropriate and when does it make you look rude?

The following tips will help you pull of the re-gifting thing and come out looking considerate and funny.

· Be thoughtful: Only re-gift an item to someone outside the circle of people you received it from. The receiver should never meet the original giver.

· Keep handmade items: Personalized or handmade items should never be given to someone they weren't intended for.

· Be genuine: Only re-gift an item you believe the receiver wants and will use.

· Create a gift set: So you received two George Foreman Grills. Pair one with a cookbook and upgrade it to a thoughtful gift set perfect for that graduate who is heading off to college.

· Cover your tracks: Remove old scraps of wrapping paper and tape as well as any personalized messages from the original giver and then re-wrap the item nicely before giving it away.

· Trash or treasure?: Know the difference between a present worth giving and a gift for the garbage. No one deserves stale fruitcake.

· If you get caught: Own up to your re-gifting antics if you get called out. Make a joke out of it, apologize, do whatever you need to... but don't lie.

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