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There’s a knack to regifting without being suspected of doing so. Keep organized so not to regift back to the original giver or to those who may recognize said gift. When selecting a unique gift to regift, be sure your recipient will love it and not ask for the gift receipt. Keep gifts in the original package with tags still attached to keep the gift new without the “new to you” feel.

When is best to regift? At the dreaded holiday party, of course! The best gift I ever received from the notorious regifting White Elephant game was a bottle of wine. Beer, wine and other spirits are always a crowd pleaser. Just make sure the bottle you grab hasn’t been opened or isn’t skunked. While it wasn’t an expensive bottle of wine, it was better to walk away with that than the “exercise block.”

When did you know you got a regift? Thinking back to Christmas past, I remember my prankster uncle, who was also a Jesuit priest, gave me a box of small gifts that I was allowed to open the 25 days leading up to Christmas. There were definitely some “suspect” gifts but the one I remember best was the rubber mouse nose.

What’s the difference between antique and used? Suppose you have a friend who collects demitasse cups and saucers and you have one that was bought over 30 years ago. While it collects dust in your China cabinet, you think she’ll love it so why not wrap it up? Before you regift, ask yourself if you would be offended or ecstatic if you were the receiver?

Homemade – yay or nay? We’ve all received a plate of Christmas cookies, a jar of jam or other homemade treat from a neighbor or colleague. What would you do with it? Do you gobble it on the spot, do you politely take it but trash it or do you replate and bring it as your own to the next holiday party? Before you give your homemade treats, think if the recipient will be appreciative.

What may be useless to me may be useful to you. But think twice before you grab for that fruitcake!

Nikki Ducas is a Fredericksburg mom teaching her two young sons that “new to you” is cool.

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