Do you give second hand presents? If so why? If not why not? I certainly give thrifted gifts to close friends and Mr Thrifty has been the recipient of a great many shirts and a bad ass pair of cowboy boots of the vintage persuasion this year alone. And yet I find myself struck by the amount of people I don’t give second hand or vintage gifts to. Anyone in my life who knows me well enough, knows that I’m second hand girl not merely because I’m frugal but because of the impact on the planet, so really they should expect a second hand gift from me, shouldn’t they?
Second hand gifts featured highly in my childhood. My parents, fortunately weren’t poor, but times could be lean on our farm and I believe they taught me well by giving me (some) second hand gifts. Beautiful books, toys and dresses from the local junk shop or charity shops were thoughtfully picked out over time. They gave me items that had me stamped all over them and weren’t just from the well thumbed toy section of the Argos catalogue. Not that there is anything wrong with the Argos catalogue, I stroked that Sylvanian Families page until it went see through. It could be a little awkward going into school come January and answering the endless ‘what did you get for Christmas?’ questions though.
“Umm, yeah, I didn’t get the latest games console but, but, but I DID get a dress that a little girl would have worn to a party before my mother was born AND a tonne weight of Enid Blyton books.” Rewind to and try THAT on a room full of nine year olds wearing brand new Naf Naf jackets and a passion for these two chaps called Mario and Luigi, they’d had me listed as insane from the first day at nursery though. One of my dearest friends is happy for me to revel in the ‘filth of second hand’ but would really rather not have a second hand gift or anything second hand enter her house. Ever. Ever, ever. I prod and poke at her about this but she just calls me a dirty, skip diving tramp and we move on. And that’s fine.
I think it could be safe to say, in a society where having a new dress for every Friday night trip down the pub or a new sofa every three years that you can really only give a second hand gift to someone you really love or someone you know, one-hundred-per-cent-for-a-fact, will appreciate you taking the time to pick out something unique and previously loved without being mortally offended. Which is all a bit sad, isn’t it? I’d love to try it on newer friends but I’m terrified they’d take it as a slight on our fledgling friendship but common sense says it is best not to give a gift that someone might hate. Or perhaps I should be a bit more choosy when it comes to those I give gifts to? Wrap up something previously owned, something that you’ve taken time over for me and I’ll love you forever. Do you give second hand gifts and how would you feel if someone gave you a second hand gift?