Monday, October 11, 2010

Simple Christmas -Buying Used?

As we move ever closer to the holidays, I've reluctantly begun thinking about Christmas gifts.  I am not a big shopper at all - and with a larger family of my own as well as a large extended family, this blessed time can feel more like a freight train running me over than a "Silent Night."  A solution for us has been to move toward a smaller,  simpler celebration within our home.  We have found over the years that our kids are more inspired by the celebrations and traditions than the actual gifts, and we want to keep it that was as much as possible.

I have written a bit here about our decision to put some of our Christmas budget toward helping others less fortunate and including our children in that tradition.

I've also been exploring second hand options.  While I wouldn't buy a used stuffed animal or doll, I have had luck in the past on Craigslist (I bought a go cart for my oldest a few years back that we still play with) and yard sales (a new in box vintage cabbage patch doll!).  This year my oldest wants a DSi that we will be buying second hand with a few games for less than it would cost new.  I am on the hunt for a wooden doll house for my older daughter and a radio flyer tricycle for my youngest.

Buying second hand is not only cost effective for a house full of small children, but it is also (yes I am going to say it) a more "green" option than buying everything brand new.

There are things I would not buy used - and I also will not buy second hand for the adults on my gift list.  I would never sacrifice quality to buy second hand and only purchase things in excellent used condition.  I'm not interested in buying old junk and calling it a gift. 

For us, it works.

What do you think?  Have you ever bought used for Christmas gifts?  Would you?  Why or why not?

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  1. Yes, we have and do! For example, this year I have a bag of Ben 10 action figures for my boys (25 cents for the whole lot) and a toy guitar for my daughter ($3.00).

    My other best secret: Set up a swap with other moms. At my church we have a night where moms can bring all the clothes and toys their family has outgrown and others take what they want for free. We fill a room with tables and just put everything out, and everyone shops. I've been able to get great treasures this way. The last one happened over the summer, but one of the moms called me just last week after cleaning out her kids' rooms of toys/clothes and asked if I wanted to look through the stuff before she took it to Goodwill - I got several nice things for my kiddos that are now waiting in the attic to be wrapped!


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