I'm on the fence with this one - it really depends on what it is. Things that are designed as 'heirloom' quality, or for multiple owners (such as nice furniture, furs, jewelry, china, clocks, family bibles, that sort of thing) or very high priced items (such as the Mont Blanc fountain pen my grandfather gave me after he'd used it for two weeks because it was 'not worth the trouble') I'd say were good for any gifting occasion.
A DVD or a book? Maybe as an addition to something (like, giving a new DVD player, here's a few DVDs we've enjoyed that I think you would like too) or as part of a theme (used cookbook as part of a basket of cooking gear) I would do as part of a big gifting occasion (birthday, Christmas, anniversary, etc.). Otherwise, it'd be a 'hey, I got this and it's not to my taste, but I think you'd really enjoy it' gift.