So you got this gift.  For one reason or another it's something you can't or won't use.


Your unwanted present from Santa has been sitting around for a week and a half now.  You're saying to yourself, "I can't wear this, it's just not my taste," or "it is certainly something I would not purchase for myself."

Before I delve farther into the topic of re-gifting, I'll say that I've been fortunate through my holidays and birthdays that I've been able to put all my gifts to good use.

I've poked around at several internet sites and compiled some of the best advice out there about what to do with that unwanted gift.

First, if it's a heartfelt gift from a loved one, keep it.  If it's the ugliest sweater you've ever seen, tough it out and wear it a couple of times when you're with that special person.  It will make the person happy.

If you're given a family heirloom, don't give it away.  In my humble opinion, it's a piece of your family's history.  You can't put a price tag on that.

If you do re-gift, make sure you recycle the present to a person who is not within the family or circle of friends.  That gift you got might be a re-gift already. It would be a bit embarrassing to give a familiar present to someone who already owned it.

If the gift you want to unload is edible, like the iconic re-gift-able fruit cake, make sure you unload it in a timely manner because it may be perishable.   If it's something like a jar of preserves or a box of candy on the other hand, the "shelf life" is pretty long.  A gift of that nature, you can give to the host of that Super Bowl party you may attend.

Most re-gift experts agree that you should always re-wrap the gift.  Always use a new box, tissue paper, and wrapping paper.  Make it look like it hasn't been handled and looks brand new.  Always double check that there are no previous "to and from"  cards or stickers on the re-gift.  If you can, always keep the gift in the original store box.  It's a definite  advantage if the item is sealed in the original plastic.

And finally, there's another thought to keep in mind if you re-gift: Honesty.

Here's an example.  For the holidays you received a set of cosmetics or cologne that you would never use. Some of these items cost a pretty penny.

Perhaps it would be a nice idea to give it to someone who would really enjoy it.  Be upfront and tell them you got it for a present.  It's something you don't use and they may enjoy it instead.  Not only would the gift not be wasted, your friend would appreciate your honesty and generosity.

I hope you love and enjoy everything you received during the holidays!