The other topic got me thinking: exactly what would be considered proper etiquette in this dance?
I always thought, baby things being expensive as they are, that it is very normal to pass them around to help people out. I also am of the belief that you do not ever sell a gift, rather you donate it or give it away. But it seems that there are very different views around, so I was wondering which one was the 'right' one.
A few examples from my social circle:
- Our little girl is about 4 months old, and we are already in the process of passing along the clothes she has grown out of. I am not expecting these back. The pregnant friend I am passing them to always makes a point of thanking me, but also to promise me to give them back. I usually make an off-hand remark that we'll see who the next baby is and then she can just pass them that way, but it surprises me that she feels obligated to return to me every single thing. Surely accidents will happen, things will get worn out, and I don't expect her to be able to tell in half a year which one she got from whom.
- I bought a baby gift for a (former) friend, lets say friend D. Friend D was in a rough spot at the time, single mom, and she got a lot of help, from all over.
A few years later somebody else in that social circle was pregnant, and when the new mom was freaking out a bit about all the stuff she'd need, the remark was made, jokingly, that friend D could probably pass on some stuff. Friend D looked at us as if we'd grown two heads, and said 'oh no way, I sold it all'. She didn't seem to get why she got a lot of weird looks all of a sudden.
I realize you lose all rights to a given gift, but honestly? Selling every single toy, every piece of clothing? It's not like she was still having a rough time, and after all the help she got, the least she could do, in my opinion, was pay it forward.
- My little bundle's great-grandmother reacted very upset when she realized I am passing along clothes to a friend. And now of course I feel guilty. But I honestly do not see how keeping clothes that are way too small around forever, when you could help someone else with them.
Some thoughts would be appreciated