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We've all been there, right? I think every single one of us, at some time during a holiday season or two, has gotten a gift that we know, without a doubt, we are NEVER going to use. And, I am willing to bet that the thought of paying that unwanted gift forward, to some other unsuspecting victim on your shopping list, has likely crossed your mind.
The idea of regifting a gift that was given is certainly a bit taboo. That's why people typically don't tell anyone they're doing it. I mean, the only time you really risk get caught is if you forget who got you the gift, then turn around and regift it to the person who got it for you in the first place. Yeah, that would be an absolutely epic holiday fail.
But, here's something that may surprise you. Regifting actually isn't as socially unacceptable as you might think. As a matter of fact, my friend Valarie Roberts, who is known as Kentucky's Etiquette Lady, says "regifting can be very meaningful and practical."
Wait!! What? You mean it doesn't make me a lazy cheapskate to just gift something I had already had to somebody else?? Valarie says not necessarily. She claims that if you apply her four simple "regifting" rules you can spend your holiday and gift-giving season faux paus-free.
So, without further adieu, I give you (or regive you) . . .
THE FOUR RULES OF REGIFTING
1) Really think the recipient will love the gift.
This makes sense, right? Valarie says that over the years, several of her friends have re-gifted their Elvis memorabilia to her. See, Kentucky's Etiquette Lady happens to be a big Elvis fan as well. So, she's totally fine with accepting some old, used Elvis gifts. That's just more character and keepsakes for her own personal collection.
2) If possible, be sure the gift is in its original packaging.
Okay, here's where the rubber meets the road. If you're looking through your closets and just giving people some stuff you don't want anymore, you're basically having a yard sale without the price tags and the 6am wake up call with strangers in your yard. Valarie says to definitely avoid that. However, if you're like me, and have two unopened Crock-pots that you won in a Dirty Santa game years ago, it's quite acceptable to gift those to someone who'll actually use them.
3) Do NOT regift homemade, monogrammed, customized or personalized gifts, unless they are nice enough to pass down to other members of your family.
In other words, that monogrammed towel set is likely not going to be attractive to anyone who doesn't share your initials. And, if a towel set has been scraped across your buttocks, no one else wants it.
4) Be sure that by regifting an item that you are not going to hurt the feelings of the person you originally got the gift from or the person you are giving it to.
That's pretty self-explanatory. If the person who originally bought you the gift likely wants to be spared the humiliation of watching you give it to someone else.
And, extra Pro Tip from the Etiquette Lady, "Be sure there is not a gift tag or note from the other giver!!"
This morning, here on WBKR, Valarie joined me to discuss her regifting tips in more depth. Here's what she had to say!
At the end of the day, the most important thing, should you choose to regift, is honesty. Tell the recipient the story behind the gift and why you decided to give it them. Like Kentucky's Etiquette Lady says, "Regifting CAN be very meaningful."
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