Weigh In: Have Expensive Gifts Become Bad Form?

One of the most curious effects arising from the recent economic downturn surrounds gift-giving, specifically expensive gifts. Between my friends and family, I’ve noticed the attitude toward this kind of gift-giving change dramatically from just 3-4 years ago to today.

Here’s exactly what I’m talking about:

Before the recession, when you received an expensive gift, you were probably flattered. Although not required, you knew it was appropriate to return the favor with some kind of equal-valued gift. I’m not saying it’s right or wrong, it’s just what people do.

After the recession, and in particular for people who have been affected by cuts in income, foreclosures, and other financial ailments, when you receive an expensive gift, you’re mostly offended and/or saddened. You realize that you probably have no way of repaying the favor with anything close to what you just got, which you believe will make you look like a flake.

Some of you are thinking–this is crazy–but I’m just calling it like I see it happening with people I know personally.

Here’s our discussion for today and I hope you decide to weigh in: Have expensive gifts become bad form? You might also weigh in on:

  • How do you react when you get an expensive gift?
  • How can we react when we get an expensive gift? (…rather than being upset or offended…)
  • Do you see this phenomenon happening in your own social circles?

Photo by Juanpol