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12/19/2014 07:00 am ET Updated Dec 23, 2014

How To Re-Gift Without Getting Caught


We all want to save money and effort during the holidays, it's true. In light of this, there's really no shame in re-gifting (at least that's what 83 percent of Americans think).

But if you're going to repurpose an old present for a new friend, re-gifting MUST be done tactfully. There's a difference between re-filling a spice jar with cookie mix and re-distributing the cookie mix that another friend once gifted to you.

A few tips for the amateurs: when re-gifting an item, make sure that...

The gift isn't obviously personal.
Do NOT re-give monogrammed towels or the sweater in your favorite color and size -- the new recipient might easily be able to tell.

The gift is still sealed.
Resist the urge to give away those coffee beans you tried and hated -- everybody knows that tampered goods are tasted goods.

The gift looks new.
Stains on your scarf are a blatant giveaway.

The gift is re-wrapped.
Strip your item and apply new wrapping paper, just in case its original giver shows up to the same party or -- gasp! -- stops by a friend's house before they've unwrapped your re-gift. Oh, and make sure you don't recycle a gift tag with your name on it.

The gift isn't on its way to the trash.
If you were going to throw it away, then don't give it away. C'mon... would you want that plastic unicorn bobble head?

You didn't steal the gift.
Because really, this is just common holiday sense.

Happy re-gifting!

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