Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Second Hand Christmas

Like so many folks, I've started my Christmas shopping this month. I'm doing it a little early this year because money is tight and I need to budget it in. I've made myself a goal this year, in shopping for the kids. Everything I get them will be second hand, or homemade. Two reasons: buying second hand is cheaper, and it's greener. So far in B's box are 5 cloth books, and a cabbage patch baby. I actually got 4 cabbage patch babies in a lot, for $15, free shipping. I cleaned them up, put some of B's newborn clothes on them, and will put 3 of them away for other gifting occasions. For R, he's got 4 VHS tapes and 8 books, all Richard Scarry. Also, an abacus by Melissa and Doug. Several of the books and tapes focus on letter and number and word learning. All of these things will be a good addition to our home school learning supplies. I'm still bidding (ebay) on some wooden train track, and a set of Mr. Potato Head toys. If I can get those two items, I think I will be done shopping for them, except for stocking treats. If they fall through, I'll keep looking, probably for books. Can never have too many books. I'd also like to knit the kids each a sweater. I've got the yarn for them both, it's just a matter of finding the time. I've been focusing all my knitting energy on retail, since is my biggest time of year for sales.

Knitting aside, this isn't the first time I've done second hand gifts, I think I've done them for just about every gift giving occasion since I started having kids. But this is the first year I'm aiming for 100%. I wonder how long I can keep it up before they notice? I wonder, will they resent it as they get older? We don't have commercial tv, it cuts down on a lot of the begging. There seems to be this sense of deserving and entitlement surrounding holidays, especially when it comes to our kids. I fall into the trap myself, even when I'm trying to be wary of it. "Oh, they deserve to have something nice and new at Christmas." Or I'll let guilt creep in, thoughts like: "That poor family can't afford anything new for their kids." Which isn't necessarily the case. It is part of my strategy for making ends meet, being frugal, stretching my resources as far as they'll go. I could buy everything new, but I wouldn't be able to afford to buy as much. Or buy the things I really want for the kids. I hope when they are older they'll understand, or at least not complain too much.

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