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  1. #1
    Euphoric ! Dreamalittledream's Avatar
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    Christmas Shopping; Frugal Mama!

    So, I set out on a personal challenge this year to not break the bank this Christmas. My goal was to sell some items no longer used (all games & toys etc. that the kids no longer play with) and only spend what I made on those on presents. I have 2 sons, aged 3 and 7...and was able to score some really cool stuff for the kids in return (an IPod , a bigger bike, Thomas the train sets, books etc). Here's the clincher...none of the gifts that I have purchased for my young sons is new; all in excellent used condition, but not new. I've been scouring used websites for months and have spent $178 on items that new would have totaled easily well over $800....and had $324 left over from my sold goods which paid for a 3 day family trip to Toronto complete with a hotel with indoor pool/water-slide. We've vowed not to travel anywhere Christmas Day but to make it about quality time at home, playing games, playing in the snow...eating. I have friends who have looked down on me for giving my kids used toys etc., so I thought I would put it out there for debate on this forum.
    Children are great imitators.
    So give them something great to imitate.

    ~Anonymous~

  2. #2
    Expansive...
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    That's FANTASTIC....and those friends are ridiculous!! Young kids don't even know where things come from, it's new to them. Maybe not your youngest, but a seven year old will remember a super fun family vacation. New toys will be discarded or forgotten in favor of something else pretty fast! This is my oldest girls 3rd Christmas and everything she has got in the past has been second hand. This year she is only getting one thing...a kids camera, it is new but not expensive and the ONLY thing she will get from us. You should be proud of yourself!!!!!!

  3. #3
    Starting to feel at home...
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    I agree. I stand and applaud you. The commercialization of Christmas truly sucks. Too many people place a huge emphasis on the wrong thing in my opinion. It's not all about gifts.

  4. #4
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    About 25 years ago, a friend bought my son a Tonka truck for his birthday. It would have cost about $25 new. I was so upset that she spent that much money, that she was forced to confess she bought it for a dollar at a garage sale. I was so relieved! We laughed about it, but that same truck is now used in my daycare. It is an awesome toy! Neither one of us could have afforded to spend that much money on a birthday gift (which is why I was so relieved to find out it was used). Ever since then, I'm very comfortable buying used toys for gifts, because I have never forgotten how much my children treasured that truck that came to us pre-loved. I don't have any friends who would look down on me for that. My friends are the kind who brag about price-matching LOL

  5. #5
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    I don't see any problem with buying previously used stuff for presents. My parents bought my children my children used items off kijiji for xmas as they are on a super tight budget. I don't mind at all.

  6. #6
    Euphoric !
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    That's awesome

    I think it is fantastic. I also bought some items used for my daughters. Let's face it, a lot of the time kids toys are hardly even played with so there is no difference to the kids and you get more bang for your buck.

    I bought a used dollhouse for my oldest for Christmas and I was surprised that my dad had an issue with it. When I asked why (because I took offense and felt that my gift was not "good enough" for his granddaughter) he said he doesn't like that the stickers get all messed up. Heh heh, turns out I learned my dad is a bit of a perfectionist! He wasn't judging me, he just wanted my daughters to have a ice Christmas.

  7. #7
    apples and bananas
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    Great job! Kids don't know the difference. My kids get excited about going to the local good will store when they get to pick out a toy.

    I normally open all the gifts and wrap them without the packaging anyways... kids don't want to wait for packaging to be taken off, they want to get right in there and play.

    Good for you! Wish I had the ability/time/patience to do that... maybe next year.

  8. #8
    Euphoric ! Dreamalittledream's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by apples and bananas View Post
    Wish I had the ability/time/patience to do that... maybe next year.
    I think my biggest inspiration was my Black Friday shopping experience last year...now THAT was a true test of "ability/time/patience"!!! Seeing people jumping over, shoving, pushing each other...how on earth is that the spirit of Christmas? Never again! And, considering about 99% of my home daycare has been outfitted by used items acquired....and I have happy and engaged children..I have ZERO guilt
    Children are great imitators.
    So give them something great to imitate.

    ~Anonymous~

  9. #9
    Euphoric ! bright sparks's Avatar
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    Good For you. I have never set out with a plan like you did and I commend you highly for sticking to it and coming out on top. I think you are setting your children up better for life with much deeper values and how lucky they are to have you as a mum.

    I didn't buy anything new, clothes or toys for the first 3 years of my daughters life...theres just no point when there is an abundance of gently used, previously loved items. Now I mix it up depending on the items. I don't buy my kids anything throughout the year. No random treats while out buying gifts for a friend or at the mall so I feel a little less guilty if an item at Xmas has a higher price tag. Even my kids cell phones are hand me downs and they are thankful for them and know they are super lucky even though their friends at school have all the latest new things. I make sure I constantly talk to them so they understand that way they don't feel hard done to because they understand and ultimately feel the same way about money and alternatives to buying new items.

    About 4 years ago I bought a HUGE lot of polly pockets from a garage sale for $30. There had to easily be $200-$300 worth of items their. I split them up and gave my daughter some for Xmas and some for her next birthday. She loved them and a year ago when she was no longer into them, she sold them at a garage sale and told me to use the money towards something we need.

    That being said, each to their own. I don't think theirs anything wrong with spending money on gifts. The commercialism of Xmas is definitely something to be desired, but as long as you can instill the real meaning and values of this time of year through other things other than "stuff" then I think everything in moderation. If thats how someone wants to show their appreciation then so be it. I personally like a gift that has thought put into it. That may be a big ticket item, that is brand new, but it could quite easily be handmade, second hand or an act of kindness also.

  10. #10
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    I think that it is just wonderful! So many things are bought and then trashed, it's nice when they can be passed on to the next generation of kids that will love them. My son's favourite present was a Cozy coupe that I bought for $5 at a garage sale. He plays with it EVERYTIME we go outside and there is always a fight for it. My other son got a train table with all the bells and whistles second hand last Christmas and he loves it too. We wouldn't have been able to afford it if it wasn't second hand, and it was all he wanted! I still remember the second hand dollhuse my parents got me and my sister. It was huge and went up nearly to the roof and came with all sorts of handmade barbie clothes and handmade furniture. It felt even more special because you could tell you couldn't find it in a store, and I found some kids initials scratched into the top bedroom. So when I grew out of it, I did the same for the next kid hopefully creating a tradition when it gets passed from one generation to the next. I wouldn't let anyone make me feel bad about giving my kids a great Christmas and saving money at the same time! Good for you!

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