Wednesday, December 10, 2008

National Regifting Day

There are other holidays around this time of year and I'm not just talking about Hanukkah.

Yes, National Regifting Day is coming up on December 18th, the Thursday before Christmas. The folks at Regiftable.com have created this holiday "in honor of holiday office parties and the 'unique' gifts exchanged at them." According to their research, "4 in 10 regifters (41%) target coworkers as the recipients of their regifts."

The website offers free customizable gift tags you can print. They've even conducted surveys to discover how people feel about regifting. Here are a few of the survey results:

"The majority of people (62%) say they regift because they think the item is something the recipient would really like; this is up from 53% who answered similarly in 2005.

"More than 4 in 10 people (42%) say that they regift to save money; this is up 27% since 2005 when only 33% claimed to regift for monetary reasons.

"More than half (60%) of Americans think regifting is becoming more accepted."

Those were the results last year -- pre-financial meltdown. I expect that there will be more regifting going on this year in an effort to save money. And there's nothing wrong with that as long as you follow some important regifting rules. The Motley Fool has a useful article and list, greatly condensed here:

Don't confuse "barely used" with "brand-spankin' new.”

Do not pass off items that were clearly purchased for you.

Don't declare, "It's vintage!" when it's really just plain bedraggled.

Do keep a flow chart of gifting so you don’t regift the original giver.

Triple-check for all telltale regifting signs such as gift tags stuck in the bottom of the box.

Give with good intentions, as if the gift were new.

But the final rule is the most important one that we should remember:

Give it away anyway. Even if the item isn't in perfect condition, someone, somewhere will be delighted to have it. Pass it on to a family member who would enjoy it or hand it over to your favorite charity.

You might be feeling a bit strapped for cash this holiday season, but it's still likely that there's something (more likely, plenty of somethings) you already own that you can let go. With so many people struggling through lay-offs, cut-backs, foreclosures and other difficulties, now is the perfect time to "pay it forward."


© 2008 Cynthia Friedlob

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