OSIC: A Crushable Guide To Regifting

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In the 12 days leading up to December 25th, we’re rolling out our “Oh Shit It’s Christmas” features to help you with any last minute Christmas problems that may arise.

Regifting. Everyone does it. (Right?) Everyone pretends they don't.

The habit has gotten a bad rap, because known regifters are an embarrassment to society. However! If you follow a few simple guidelines, regifting can be a huge help on your budget and your Christmas guilt reflex. But if you really want to become a regifting pro, keep a few of these tips in mind.

1.Remember Who Bought You Stuff!

The first rule of regifting is also the most important: Remember who bought you the stuff you're trying to pawn off!

It's always embarrassing when a gift recipient realizes they've been regifted. Worse? When they actually bought them the gift that you've wrapped in shiny paper and tried to pawn off as something new.

This happened to me once. When I lived in DC, I received a photo of Ronald Reagan standing in the Oval Office. Sure, it was free. BUT. My grandmother LOVES Ronald Reagan. So I gave it to her.

The following year, my mother returned the photo to me, in a frame. (I guess my grandma doesn't love him that much.) I'm not sure why my mother decided I needed a framed Reagan. BUT. I do love my regifted Reagan. That photo now stands proudly on my bookcase. Other regifting recipients are likely not as enthusiastic.

2. Be Prepared To Give Up Good Gifts

Look. You are likely regifting for one of three reasons: you're cheap, or lazy, or both. Do you want your friend/relative to know that? Because you can just save some effort and forgo getting them anything. But you've decided to regift because you want to hide your failings, and continue with the illusion that you are thoughtful and care about them. So be prepared to give away some good loot that you have received.

3. Save The Crap For People You Don't Care About

Everyone has a few people on their list that need obligation gifts. So if you really want to get rid of that fruit cake, and feel bad throwing it out, give it here.

4. Schedule your gift exchange AFTER Christmas

The best time to regift is after the holidays – or as close to them as possible. Because likely you will have received some gifts – from friends, acquaintances or a boss – that are sufficient to be given away to someone else. Also, there are super great sales after Christmas, if you intended to buy something and just didn't have the time/budget.

5. Keep a box of gifts that would make acceptable presents

Every year, you receive far too many gifts that you can't do anything with. But some of them are really nice! Why not give them to other people next year? Just keep them in a box in your closet, and consult with it every time before you go out to purchase a gift next year. It's almost as healthy as recycling. You're high school Earth Science teacher would be PROUD.

6. Remember Who Bought You Things!

Seriously, this can get embarrassing.

And if you're going to keep a box full of gifts that people have bought you, things get confused.