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Hand holding a small gold gift box with a twist of red ribbon

If your gift-buying budget is running short and the list of gifts you need is running long, it might be time to consider regifting. But we’ve all heard the horror stories about someone giving a gift back to the person who gave it to them in the first place. Yikes!

The good news is, regifting doesn’t have to end badly. If you exercise some tact, care and common sense, regifting can help you stretch your gift budget this holiday season. Here are some simple rules for successful regifting.

Know Your Audience

The most terrifying regifting scenario is to give something back to the person who gave it to you originally. To avoid this, regift outside the original social circle. For example, if a gift was given to you by a family member, regift it to a friend or coworker, rather than someone else in the family.

Make it New and Nice

Only regift new items in their original packaging. If the packaging (or the gift itself) is dusty, worn used or damaged, it’s a no-go. Be sure the gift is still in usable, working order. Add new batteries or any other necessary accessories to ensure the recipient can enjoy it immediately.

Be a Wrap Star

This is not the time to skimp on gift wrap. An impressive presentation will make the gift seem extra-special. Go for the beautiful wrapping paper or sparkly gift bag. Add a gift topper like an ornament, chocolate bar or scratch-off lottery ticket. And be absolutely sure no trace of the original wrapping remains (check inside the box for cards or outdated gift receipts, too).

Know the Never-Evers

Certain things should never, ever be regifted, including: partially used gift cards, handmade or custom items, anything monogrammed or personalized and free promotional items (because that’s just plain tacky).

Demonstrate Grace Under Pressure

If you’ve taken the necessary precautions and it somehow still comes out that you’ve regifted, own up to up it gracefully. Say something like:  “This gift made me think of you when I first received it, because I knew it was something you’d enjoy, and I wanted you to have it.”

Check out these additional ideas for gifts that don’t cost money.

 

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