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National Regifting Day

Be honest, have you ever given an item as a gift that someone had first gifted to you? If you've harbored some guilt over doing this, relax, let it go, and get yourself back into the giving spirit because today is National Regifting Day. Regifting is the giving of a gift that has previously been received, usually as if it is still new, and hadn't been received as a gift. Money Management International, a consumer credit-counseling service based in Houston, created the day and set it on the Thursday before Christmas, because many—or perhaps most—holiday office parties are held on the day, where many gifts are regifted, possibly more than on any other day.

The term "regifting" came from a 1995 Seinfeld episode, "The Label Maker," and gained popularity following it, although the practice itself had long existed. In the episode, Elaine calls Dr. Tim Whatley a "regifter" because he gives Jerry a label-maker that Elaine had given Whatley. By the mid-2000s, the practice of regifting had become much more accepted than it once was. Today, a majority of people think it is an acceptable practice. Following Money Management International's designation of the day in 2006, some government officials embraced it. For example, Colorado Governor Bill Ritter, Jr., declared the day in his state in 2008, and Harris County Commissioner Sylvia Garcia declared the day in her county—the county where Money Management International is headquartered—in 2009.

The number one motive for why an item is regifted is for charitable reasons, where the giver thinks the receiver would like the item, or they think it would better suit the person or they would have a better use for it. Regifting may be done out of environmental concern by those who are concerned about the number of items that end up in landfills, or it may be done during tough economic times by someone trying to save money. But other reasons for regifting are not as altruistic. It may be a way of disposing of gifts that aren't wanted, it may be done if someone already has an item, and it may be done if someone wants to save time. One of the biggest reasons why it happens is because there are just so many items in the world in general.

There are some commonly accepted rules when it comes to regifting. There should always be a reason why the gift is being given, and it should only be given if it is believed that the recipient will like it. The item shouldn't be used, especially not in a poor condition, and should be in its original packaging if possible, and be rewrapped. Handmade and personalized items should never be regifted. For example, if someone took the time to hand-knit someone a sweater and give it as a gift, it shouldn't be regifted. Perhaps most importantly, a gift should never be regifted to the person who originally gifted it. As long as these general guidelines are followed, today is the perfect day for regifting!

How to Observe National Regifting Day

Today is the perfect day to regift all the things people have given you over the past year that you don't need or want, or that you think someone else would have a better use for. Perhaps you'll even find yourself at a holiday party with coworkers where there are plenty of people to regift items to. Make sure to keep in mind some commonly accepted norms when it comes to regifting. Make sure you have a reason for giving the item, make sure you think the recipient will like it, make sure its condition is as new, make sure it isn't a handmade or personalized item, and most importantly, don't give it back to the person who originally gave it to you! If you have some unwanted gifts and don't feel comfortable regifting them, you could instead give them to a charity organization. After all your regifting, you could watch the Seinfeld episode "The Label Maker," where the term "regifter" came from.

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