On-the-Air: Los Angeles

I hate throwing things away.  Tossing things that are brand new or in perfectly good shape just isn't my thing.  It always seems kind of wasteful, and I would much rather pass them along to someone who can use them or - very frequently - donate them to one of the numerous charity thrift shops that populate our Upper East Side neighborhood. 

What to do with extra stuff seems to be an issue at the beginning of year when tackling that annual resolution to "get organized" or figuring out to do with a gift you received that isn't your style.  Maybe you received a perfectly good holiday candle or bath set for the holidays that isn't quite your taste.  Or a gift card to a place you'd never shop  - but it just happens to be your sister-in-law's favorite store.

If you're thinking about passing along any of these items - or wrapping them up for the next gifting occasion - I shared a few "rules for regifting" with my friends at CBS Los Angeles on my final TV segment of the holiday season. Even though this aired a couple of days before Christmas, it might give you a few ideas for what to do with any duplicate items, gifts you cannot use - or brand new things you unearth when cleaning out your closet. 

Confession:  I may have regifted a few items last month - but I told the recipients (members of my family) exactly where they came from.  So - as I discuss in this segment - you don't necessarily need to be secretive about it.  It's hard to go wrong when passing along something that truly suits the interests and style of the recipient.   

More on regifting etiquette here - or check out the full segment below.

On-the-Air: San Francisco

I was super-excited this week to appear on "Bay Sunday" on CBS San Francisco Bay Area, sharing holiday gift ideas for several companies and chatting about the "do's and don'ts of regifting."

In our twin green dresses, it was a good thing host Michelle Griego and I were not working in front of a green screen!  Click on the image below to see the full clip.

Are You a Regifter?

It's still early in the holiday shopping season, but instead of heading to the mall or jumping online, are you already contemplating "shopping your closet" and regifting a few things you have on hand?

That is all well and good, especially as millions of people "Kondo" their homes or simply look for ways to recycle or repurpose things they do not use.

Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

But to avoid an awkward situation ("Ooh…I love this Balsam-scented Christmas Candle!  Just as much as when I gave it to you last year.") and potentially making the recipient uncomfortable, here are a few "dos and don't of regifting" that I am sharing on TV segments this month:

  • While the rules of regifting have changed, the etiquette of how to receive a gift remains the same.  Accept every gift graciously, and thank the person who gave it to you promptly and in an appropriate manner.  
  • Only give the item if it is something that you would buy new for that person.  Do not give something that screams “regifting”, including old candles or scented soaps with waxy flakes covering the inside of the plastic packaging, obsolete electronics, or things that are not in absolutely new, pristine condition.
  • Great items for regifting?  Current clothing and accessories or décor items that suit the recipient’s style; current books; wine & spirits; and gift cards.
  • If you give gift cards, only give them for stores/web sites/restaurants the recipient shops and check to make sure the full balance is still on the card.
  • Remove any cards from the original package, and make sure the item has not been monogrammed or personalized in any way.
  • Make a beautiful presentation.  Wrap the item in a new box with fresh seasonal gift wrap, or in an elegant gift bag wrapped in colorful tissue.

Have you ever been caught regifting, or have you been on the receiving end of an obvious regift?  Confess here - or share your story below!  How did you handle the situation?