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Is It Okay to Give Used Gifts?

Christmas gifts can account for a major part of a family’s gifting budget, and when most of us are struggling to pay the bills these days, buying new gifts can really put a strain on things.  I know for me personally, buying used items for my family has become the norm, rather than the exception, so what about when it comes to buying Christmas gifts?

I remember my Mom being mortally offended when a family member gave her a used item for Christmas, and I can certainly understand the mentality, but on the flip side, a gift recipient should not expect their givers to take on an insurmountable burden to supply them with gifts, either.

So what to do in this new age where thriftiness is considered cool, and budgets warrant a serious change?  In my opinion, a used gift that is purchased solely for that purpose should be acceptable.  Think antiques and collectibles, for example, where used is perfectly fine.

Society’s perspective is a little different, however.  Most of us still expect to get shiny new objects for Christmas, and would be offended when given anything else.  It will take a lot of effort to shift our collective thinking on this one.

Perhaps the solution then is to focus on inexpensive handmade items, rather than risk offending the recipient with a used item that, while it may be just what we think they want, is still used and potentially insulting.

What do you think?  Would you give a used gift?  How would you feel if you received one?