I know….it’s not even Thanksgiving yet and here I am bringing up Christmas gifts! But it’s that time of year when a lot of people are already making up their Christmas presents list and planning a budget. And before I go any further, I just want to acknowledge that not everyone celebrates Christmas, but you could still use these thoughts/comments on the topic for birthday gift buying or any other occasion when you’re buying a gift for someone else.
When my grandma was still alive and on a budget, she would occasionally give something she owned but that another member of the family really liked as a gift and nobody thought it was weird. We knew she didn’t have extra money for gift-giving (we always told her she didn’t need to buy gifts but she wanted to give). A couple of years ago I had a friend who cleaned out her basement and found tons of presents she had been given over the years that she really didn’t need and had never opened. She sold some in a garage sale but picked out items she knew her friends and family would enjoy and regifted them. And I didn’t think there was anything wrong with that and it really helped her out financially. Of course you want to make sure you don’t regift to the person who gifted it to you in the first place! I looked up what a lot of etiquette experts, like Emily Post, thought about regifting and the general consensus was that if the gift hadn’t been used and was still in its original packaging, (make sure it isn’t monogrammed with your initials or personalized in a way that clearly doesn’t suit the intended gift recipient), and you thought it was something that person would enjoy, it was ok.
When I read the words, “hadn’t been used and still in its original packaging”, it made me think about thrift store items as gifts and if you thought that was a “do” or a “don’t”.
Here’s a few of my own thoughts on the matter but I’d like to know what you think….
As far as regifting, I totally think it’s acceptable. If you don’t have a need or want for something you’ve received and you know someone else who would appreciate and enjoy it, feel free to gift it to someone else.
Now as far as thrift store items….Our entire extended family thrift store shops so I know no one would be offended if I found something for them at one of our local stores. It has to be in good condition though…no chips in dishes or decorative pieces, no broken spines (0n books), no tarnished jewelry…etc., it has to look and be in great condition. You know, you can find lots of unique vintage and collector items at thrift stores. Let’s say you know someone who collects old jazz albums….you could go to a music store that sells old vinyls, your could find them on eBay or…find them at a thrift store….for a couple of dollars each.
I think when it comes down to it, a lot depends on who you are buying for. I know there are some people who would not want anything, regardless of what it is, if it came from a thrift store. And there are probably people who would be offended if they knew you had gifted them with something you had been gifted….again, regardless if it was something they really wanted.
One of my favorite birthday gifts I have received was an Ann Taylor black and white animal print jacket (that fit perfectly and was in mint condition) that my sister-in-law bought me a couple of years ago. And she bought it at Goodwill. The jacket would have easily cost over $100 brand new (I found similar styles on their website starting at $199), which is way more money than we spend on gifts in our family. But because she found it at a thrift store, it fit her budget and I was thrilled.
So, when it comes to regifting or buying from a thrift store or even garage sale for gifts….would you, have you….what do you think?