Secondhand Gift Giving*
I have a thought.
Well, I have many thoughts. I unload most of them on all of you.
I just went and picked up a Christmas gift for my mom. I can’t post a photo yet because she sneaks on here sometimes (HI MOM!), but as soon as I saw it I knew she’d love it.
…but I didn’t get it from a store. I bid on it on a Facebook auction. It’s old and used, but it’s beautiful. I’ve never seen anything like it.
I am giving my mom a second hand item for Christmas. Is that weird?
In truth, I know my mom won’t care, because she loves thrifting and giving things a second chance at life just like I do.
But in general, I feel like there is this stigma around giving a “second hand gift”. Like somehow it’s worth less than something purchased new at a store.
…but if an item is still in good condition, when did we decide that a layer of plastic makes something worth more?
I get that not every second hand item is in great shape, and there is a lot of weeeeird stuff out there.
(Really though, that’s half the fun of thrifting. I love finding weird things to send to my sister, and I send my brother a photo of every cat shirt I find. )
…but I often find that items I find in second hand shops or on Facebook Marketplace are so unique and special. Not everything is a win, but there’s a lot of good stuff out there. I personally love that I am keeping things out of the landfill, and honestly… the cost is SO much less.
Saving money AND the planet all in one go? I’m such a fan.
So then I wonder, what is it about second hand items that makes people uncomfortable?
When you think about all the bigger picture benefits of second hand shopping, why is there still such a stigma around it?
Why is it still taboo to gift a second hand item?
Even if I found something really cool or beautiful or useful that someone might love, I know I’d still feel really reluctant to gift it unless I *knew* the recipient loved thrifting too.
So here is my thought:
I feel like the pendulum is finally swinging back on gifting homemade items.
So, what if we normalized gifting second hand items too?
I wish I could show you what I bought my mom. I really do. I wouldn’t even know where to find it in a store… but I found it second hand for an absolute steal. I honestly think it will mean more to her than anything I could have purchased new.
Many of the gifts I got for my children this year are second hand. My children won’t know the difference.
…but I do.
So, I just think it could be kind of neat if we dropped some of the stigma around second hand gift giving. Really, if the intent behind the gift is pure, why does where something came from matter?