Think about whether anyone on your gift list might react well to previously owned goods.
One of the toughest aspects of Christmas shopping involves finding the perfect gift at the right cost.
Buying used goods is an often overlooked way to accomplish this goal. Many stores in downtown Lawrence offer shoppers a wide variety of previously owned items that are much kinder to the budget and, sometimes, better suited to the recipient's taste.
However, many people wonder if giving used gifts is acceptable.
"You've just got to get over the fact that it's used," said Shelley Lane, who, along with Tamyra Heim, owns Sugartown 918 Mass.
Sugartown, which has been in Lawrence for about a year, sells used clothing and accessories.
"Here you can buy someone two or three sweaters, dry clean them, box them up, and they get a nice present, where you'd otherwise only be able to afford one, maybe," said Lane.
Both owners agree that it is definitely becoming more acceptable to give used items as presents.
"It's especially common between siblings because you know they're not going to get offended," said Lane. "We more often have young people coming in to buy things, but parents buying stuff for their kids are not uncommon."
Jennifer McKnight, who owns Arizona Trading Co. says that her store normally sells a lot of gift certificates around Christmas time.
"It's hard to get sizes, styles and colors right," McKnight said.
Arizona Trading Co., which has been selling and trading used clothes in Lawrence for eight years, also sells jewelry and accessories. McKnight has found that more people buy the jewelry for Christmas presents.
"It's easier to pick out jewelry for people," McKnight said.
Justin Montag, 21, Lawrence, does not mind giving or receiving used presents.
"It wouldn't offend me at all to get something used for Christmas. I've bought my girlfriend used jackets, CDs and tapes," Montag said.
He said he does most of his used good shopping at thrift shops, the Salvation Army, 1818 Mass., and The Love Garden, 936 1/2 Mass.
"I'm always buying used CDs from the Love Garden. How can music be used?" said Montag. "I think it always just depends on the person. If you know someone well enough to give them a present, you'll know how they'd react to getting something used."