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Go Ahead and Regift

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 lest you think your rich friends aren't doing it, too, a survey done a few years ago by Money Management International found that the practice of recycling gifts is more widespread (36%) among households with annual incomes in the $100,000 to $150,000 range.

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 may call the practice cheap. But it sure cuts down on the holiday spending damage. Given that this time of year is a budget-buster for so many (the average gift budget this year surpasses $700), we don't have a problem with the practice. Just make sure it's done tastefully and that 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!


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