London - If you’re still feeling guilty about passing on that unwanted present you got for Christmas, stop fretting.

Research suggests that those who gave you the gift would prefer it went to a good home.

Attitudes towards “re-gifting” – handing on a present to a third party as a new gift – were examined by a team from the London Business School who wanted to find out if it really was a social taboo.

They discovered the original receiver of a gift felt worst about passing it on, considering it just as bad as simply throwing it away.

But in contrast, the gift giver was less bothered, and preferred it to go to a new home than to be discarded.

Reactions to either re-gifting or throwing a present away were measured on an “offensiveness scale”. Givers were less offended when they learned the receiver had re-gifted than when they learned the receiver threw the gift away. Receivers believed givers would be equally offended no matter what option they took.

The team believe the findings come down to entitlement – with receivers feeling that givers should have a say in what happens to their gifts, while givers feel receivers are entitled to do whatever they like. - Daily Mail