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Hallelujah! Regifting receives its due

It’s the hot topic of the season: gifts that keep on giving.

Or being given, rather.

Across the frug-o-sphere, regifting is being declared as officially OK this year.

The Motley Fool says: “Regifting is shedding its stigma, whether it’s due to economic hardship, eco-friendly attitude shifts, or bulging closets and drawers full of stuff we never wanted in the first place.”

The frugal living blog WalletPop takes a green angle: “Environmentalists are finding inherent value in the idea of regifting. They’re removing the tacky connotation and rebranding it as green and earth friendly.”

MSN Money: “Even Peggy Post, etiquette advice columnist for Good Housekeeping (and granddaughter of Emily), admits she’s done it.”

We’re not sure the tackiness has been totally removed. But here’s a list of tips, compiled from several other lists of tips, about the “proper” ways to regift this holiday season:

Don’t get caught.

Don’t give partially used gifts.

Use a new wrap job.

Keep track of who gave what, to avoid “closing the loop.”

Don’t regift handmade or personalized gifts.

Make sure original packaging is intact.

Repeat after me …

Here’s a sobering report from Christmas Past: About 12 million Americans are still paying off last year’s holiday debt, according to a Consumer Reports survey.

Part of the reason that people get in over their heads at holiday time is the pressure to create a “perfect” holiday. Ethicist Bruce Weinstein told the Baltimore Sun that people need to learn it’s OK to be a tightwad. (See earlier item.)

“It’s not only OK in some circumstances; it would be wrong if we weren’t,” Weinstein said. “Because you shouldn’t spend what you don’t have.”

Or just skip the eggnog

The Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner sent out a holiday Q&A that envisions a variety of scenarios that might bring your insurance coverage into the picture.

Here’s one: “What if the holiday eggnog is bad and you end up in an urgent care while you are out of state?

“Most health insurance policies provide coverage for urgent care and emergency room visits while traveling, if they provide for such coverage at home. If you plan to travel, be sure to take your health insurance information for all family members. … Prior to leaving town, it is also a good idea to check with your insurance company about in-network health care providers at your destination.”