Regifting

It's all fun when you're a kid; nothing tops a stack of presents.

Then, you grow up and our time honoured tradition of exchanging gifts starts to take up a lot of time, a lot of money and a lot of space.

There's Christmas, birthdays, baby showers, christenings, engagements, weddings, house warmings, anniversaries, mother's day, father's day, the list goes on.

Is it any wonder we've found a way to way to make it all a bit easier? Wrapping up a present you don't want and passing it on to someone else might seem like a bit of an "icky" way to deal with the endless need to buy gifts, but let's be honest - we've probably all done it, or we've been tempted.

Jennifer Toase proudly flies the flag for regifting. "We're on a single income at the moment and sometimes you don't always have the money to buy a nice present for someone. It's still seen as a bit of a social faux pas Jen but I think a lot of people would have a box just like this. I think they would, I know my Mum's got one."

If you've crossed over to the dark side of gift giving, there's a lot at stake. You could end up offending someone or you could look like a real cheapskate. So to find out how to regift - with class - we've enlisted the help of an expert.

Natalia Josephs is Perth's expert in etiquette and manners.

"I think we must be careful not to make regifting a cheap alternative."

She's helped us with the five top tips for regifting.

Tip number one, check the condition. Only re-gift something if it's in perfect nick and in it's original packaging.

Something to keep in mind is that regifting food is always a bit more risky, especially if it's packaged up and you can't see what's inside. It doesn't take long for chocolate to go white so remember to always check the use by date.

Tip number two - don't regift originals. That's anything that's been hand made or custom made especially for you. "If somebody does you a painting and they've spent hours and hours on it, you don't regift that you wouldn't want to be doing that."

Tip three - regift from the heart. Only pass something on if you genuinely think the receiver will like it. "We should make sure that the gift is right for the person, we're not just using it as a cheap way of giving someone a gift grabbing it off the shelf, this'll do. We should be thinking about the gift that we're giving to people."

Tip number four - freshen it up. Natalia says "I think by re-wrapping it you're making it your own gift. I think if we just kind of give it in the same wrapping paper you're actually giving the entire gift without much thought. When we freshen it up, rewrap it and check to make sure there's no cards or any identifying material inside that might lead it back to you that we make it our own gift. Another thing to remember is we must if we're giving books, make sure there's no writing inside, very embarrassing."

And the golden rule - keep a regifting register. "Just putting a little sticky label saying the person's name who gave it to you and also the date it was given to you. That can save you the embarrasment of regifting it back to the same person or somebody within your family or social circle."

So, there you have it; thoughtful regifting. It's the new recycling. Carry it off properly and you can save household space, countless shopping trips and thousands of dollars.