When it comes to getting gifts, be they for Christmas, Mother's Day, anniversaries, birthdays, weddings, or Father's Day, we don't always get gifts we love. It just happens. Sometimes a friend, co-worker or family member will give you a gift that you just have no use for, don't like or already have.

It happens to the best of us, givers and receivers, from time to time. Unless you know everything there is to know about the person on whom you are bestowing a gift, know what they like, what they have, what they want or what they need, you run the risk of giving a gift they don't really like or have any use for. The same can be said when someone presents you with a gift. When presented with a gift certificate to go see a play or visit a spa, you want to be appreciative, and it is certainly an enjoyable gift, but you can't help but think, "who will I go with?"

One of the places and times of the year that usually leads to a gifting situation like that is Christmas and the inevitable office Christmas parties. Especially Christmas office parties that do a Secret Santa gift giving exchange. Whether you work for a fast food chain or a manufacturing company, or any work situation where you don't get to know your team of co-workers very well, Secret Santa gift exchange programs tend to lead to giving and getting less than ideal gifts - who wants to receive a ticket on a raffle draw that doesn't result in a prize. The one bright spot about getting gifts you don't like, want or need (a Hickory Farms box of sausages for a vegetarian, a chocolate lover's dream basket for a diabetic, a new set of windshield wipers for the transit rider...) is the "re-gift".

The Re-Gift is the ancient practice of passing along an unwanted gift to someone who will find it more useful or enjoyable than the original recipient. There's nothing wrong with re-gifting if you get a gift you don't like or don't need but know someone else who could use it or like it. Just because you don't like the steak knife set you got or already have in your kitchen doesn't mean someone else you know wouldn't want them or have a use for them. The key to successful regifting is in matching the right recipient to the item that doesn't suit you.

A gift is a gift is a gift whether it's an original gift or a re-gift. You don't even have to tell the person you're giving the re-gifted gift to that it's a re-gift. They don't really need to know that. All they need to know is how much you care about them and understand them, to know that they could use or like the gift they're receiving from you. The next time you get a gift that you're disappointed with stop thinking negatively about what you didn't get and think positively about who you know you can re-gift your gift to.

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