If you are going to regift, follow these rules

With more Americans regifting this holiday season, we thought we'd have The Emily Post Institute's Anna Post weigh in on regifting etiquette.

Here are the rules:

Good gifts only

Regifting is perfectly acceptable, yet while this is a practical solution — especially in an economy that's as weak as this one — you must give good gifts only, says Post. In other words, nothing from last year or two years ago. This is not an opportunity to clean out your closet. Think new items — whether a sweater or a bottle of perfume — that don't necessarily match your tastes, but would be perfect, say, for your mother-in-law.

Regift with care
Gifts must be unused, and in their original condition. Any telltale signs, such as personal notes, must be removed. And never, ever regift one-of-a-kind items or something that was handmade especially for you. That's just wrong.

Match unwanted gifts with recipients
Only regift items if you think the recipient — whether a person or charity — will use, and appreciate the item. In other words, put some thought into this. Haphazard regifting is insensitive and obvious, says Post.

Don't delay

If you wait too long, you may actually forget who the gift originally came from.

To avoid potential embarrassment — like the item making its way back to the original giver — only regift outside your immediate circle of family and friends.


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