It's the most simple of phrases. We use it to show gratitude for myriad things. When people DON'T say it, we get offended. It's probably the single most used phrase, but I have a question: do we really mean it?
Ok, sorry for attempting to be deep here, but I just felt the need to expand a little on that. What I mean to say is - when someone GIVES you something, think about whether or not you REALLY want it.
Take for example, the JOYOUS adventure that is being with child. When you're pregnant, people want to literally LINE UP to give you used stuff. Random things - old strollers, clothes, car seats, PACIFIERS (come on people!?). I think it's less about you and your endeavor into the unknown that is parenthood and more about their need to pawn off their crap. Don't get me wrong, I was very appreciative when a very good friend of mine gave me an infant car seat. He'd used it for his own son, who could no longer use it and he was very gracious. However, hindsight is always 20/20, like they say.
While the car seat my friend gave me was functional, I probably would have purchased a different model for myself. Correction, I would have purchased a different model for myself. He's more of a minimalist, while I'm a hardcore lover of all things innovative in the baby gear genre. Also, the model he gave me holds an infant from 4-22lbs. This is great, but I would have sprung for a model that can handle a larger infant (there are some that can take a 35 pounder!! WHOA!). I have used and appreciated the model that I was given, however now that Ethan is surpassing the 20lb mark, I wish I could use the infant seat and my Uppababy Bubble and snap and go Maclaren that I have fallen in love with just a little longer. I also wish I would have been able to use my Uppababy Vista stroller frame AS a snap and go (with the car seat adapter). I would have been able to do this had I purchased one of three or four car seats (which obviously were not the one I was given).
I guess what I'm trying to say in this not-so-formal introduction is that you should really do your research on what it is YOU want for your new baby before you accept those gracious hand-me-downs. Sometimes, the better answer and/or response is "No, thank you."