November 24, 2004
C'mon, stop being such a Goody Two-shoes. Everybody's doing it. Well, maybe not everyone, but nearly one in four of us upstanding, big-hearted Americans resorts to regifting. And, get this, the practice is more widespread (36%) among households with annual incomes in the $100,000 to $150,000 range, according to Money Management International.
If you're unfamiliar with regifting (go ahead and feign ignorance), it's the practice of passing along unwanted presents to someone else, all the while pretending you searched long and hard to find them. Chia pets, the Ronco Rotato, and, of course, the ubiquitous Christmas fruitcake are among items that find a second (and third and fourth) life under the tree.
Some call it cheap. We call it Foolish. Given that the holidays are a budget-buster for so many (the average gift budget surpasses $1,000), we don't have a problem with the practice. Just make sure it's done tastefully and you give us something that we really, really like. The alternative -- credit card debt and shopper's resentment -- is hardly in the holiday spirit.
Go ahead and regift to shave a few bucks off the budget and find a good home for those 13 soaps on a rope you've accumulated since college. When you run out, consider becoming a philanthropist by giving to Foolanthropy, our annual charity drive. No wrapping paper necessary!