TODAY   |  December 22, 2013

What are the rules of regifting?

It can be a touchy topic around the holiday season, but there are some guidelines to repurposing gifts to make regifting acceptable. TODAY’s Joelle Garguilo reports.

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>> reporter: took the term mainstream.

>> i just got one of those for tim wattly for christmas.

>> tim wattly?

>> who sent you that one?

>> tim wattly.

>> reporter: to regift or not to regift. that is the question.

>> i'll do it.

>> i'll totally for it.

>> i love it.

>> i think it's very tacky.

>> reporter: some call it tasteless, some call it rude. saturday wrong?

>> regifting is controversial. really it shouldn't be because regifting is okay under certain circumstances.

>> reporter: which ones?

>> when you have a gift that you find in perfect condition and you think it's fabulous, but you might have multiple of it or you can't eat it, you're allergic to it or you simply can't use it and you want somebody to have it that's going to appreciate it.

>> reporter: when isn't it okay?

>> you absolutely do not regift anything that has sentimental value.

>> reporter: keep in mind, if it's a present you don't like, chances are nobody else will either.

>> the people that you don't regift are to your clients, to your boss, you're just walking on murky water by doing it.

>> reporter: if you're going to give it a go, there are ground rules. it should be in its original packaging, the present should be new. there should be no signs it's been given to you. be sure to check for notes, monograms or other personalizations. check the expiration date. last but not least, regift to a separate circle of friends .

>> a little house warming to new beginnings.

>> actually i gave this to you for your wedding?

>> this model?

>> reporter: what to do if you get busted.

>> you have to own it.

>> reporter: remember, recycle or not, it's the thought that counts. for "today," joelle gargiulo, nbc news, new york.

>> so you were away, so we didn't give you a