Arab Today, arab today alexander mccall smith on the etiquette of \regifting\
Last Updated : GMT 13:09:05
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Alexander McCall Smith on the etiquette of \'regifting\'

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Alexander McCall Smith on the etiquette of \'regifting\'

London - Arabstoday

For some, the idea of “re-gifting” those novelty socks and chocolate fondue sets is the height of bad manners. Others argue it is a kinder alternative to binning ghastly gifts or consigning them to the back of the cupboard for all eternity. Alexander McCall Smith, the author, has come up with some advice to guide people through the moral maze. According to the creator of the No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, giving away or even selling a rubbish present is perfectly acceptable as long as one waits a month to do so. Dispensing words of wisdom to his Twitter followers, McCall Smith wrote: “Christmas brings a major moral problem: what to do with unwanted gifts. Initial reaction: one must pretend to like them. Thank you so much. “That, of course, is a lie: you don’t like the present. But a justifiable lie. An insincerity, perhaps, rather than a lie. Then what?” The 63-year-old author went on: “You don’t have to keep the present for ever, but you should not give it away immediately. Certainly not on Boxing Day. “January 25th is about right. Thereafter the unwanted present may be disposed of, preferably given away. If sold, proceeds to charity. “Never give the present back to the donor. Never say ‘I’ve got one already’. Never ask: ‘What does it do?’” His advice sparked a debate on the micro-blogging site about the etiquette of presenting giving and receiving. “No! You can’t sell presents Maybe YOU can if they have been sent by strangers but we, the un-famous, we must treasure them,” said one of McCall Smith’s followers, adding that there should be “no such thing as unwanted” if a gift is given with love. But another wrote: “Wise advice. Also, careful with regifting. 1 Christmas, my mum sent a gift to a friend. Next Christmas, she got it back.” And another cautioned: “Friend got box of expensive lotions for her Dec 28 birthday. Sadly giver didn’t realise she regifted a personalised gift.” McCall Smith’s advice is timely, as Britons unwrapped an estimated £2.4 billion pounds worth of unwanted presents yesterday. The most unpopular gift was clothing, with 42 per cent saying they had to force a smile while accepting a “ghastly” item. That was followed by toiletries (27 per cent), jewellery (13 per cent) and trinkets or ornaments (13 per cent), according to a study by classified advertising website Gumtree.com. One in five people said the biggest culprit in bad present buying was their mother. Only one in 10 people said they would admit to not liking the present and asking for the receipt. One in three said they would push the present to the back of a cupboard and forget about it, while one in six would re-gift. Two per cent said they would throw the gift away. Hamish Stone from Gumtree.com said: “Despite many people’s best efforts, it is clear homes across the UK are cluttered with lots of unwanted Christmas presents this year. Rather than let them take up valuable space in cupboards and garages, we’d encourage people to sell the unwanted presents online and convert them into cash. Then you can put the money towards something that you really want.” Shoppers are expected to make a record-breaking 95 million visits to online retailers today, as people avoid the traditional Boxing Day sales scrum by logging on to the internet. James Murray, marketing and research analyst for online experts Experian Hitwise UK, said: “Boxing Day falls on a Monday this year, which is significant because Mondays have consistently been the biggest day of the week for online traffic to retail websites in the run-up to Christmas this year.”

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