Wednesday, December 9, 2009


This year for Christmas, almost all of Olive's gifts from us will be re-gifts.

No, we will not be giving her creepy snowglobes, moldy fruitcake or a 2006 calendar. What i mean is that we are giving her gifts that have been loved by someone else.

*gasp* "You're giving your child USED gifts for Christmas?!"

Yes. For several reasons.
1) She's 18 months old. She doesn't know the difference.
2) Why buy new when slightly used will do? :)
3) Cost savings
4) Not only will your wallet thank you, but Mother Earth will too.

We are very fortunate to have family and friends with older children who have out grown a lot of their belongings. So we have several bags of toys, games, books, puzzles and clothes that are just waiting, no, begging, for someone to love them again.  A quick trip through the dishwasher, washer or soapy water and voila! New stuff!

I realize not everyone is as fortunate as we are in the hand-me down department. But we have also had great success shopping at consignment stores, thrift stores and craigslist. I *heart* craigslist. I take great pride in my craigslist finds (yes, I am a dork). There are craigslist sites for most major cities in the U.S. (and international cities, if you are in need of that!)  Just go to and take a look.

Another option is buying used goods through on-line retailers like Amazon and Barnes & Noble. For a lot of their products there is a "used" option. Products are then listed in Excellent, Like New, Great, Good, etc condition. It is quite shocking the difference in price you will see. For example I bought a used hardcover book from Amazon a few months ago for $12, less than half the retail price. It arrived and it appeared to be brand new, never been read.

Olive will not know the difference come Christmas morning. She will not open the Little People Town Square set that was passed down from her cousins and say

"Ugh, this is USED! Just look at that tooth mark on the tow truck driver's hat!". (and if she does, well, to be honest, I would be quite impressed. I mean, that would be a HUGE jump in her cognitive and conversation skills!)

And last but certainly not least (in my book anyway), re-gifting makes the world a happier place. Because it is never too early to teach about Reducing, Reusing and Recycling. By re-gifting we are reducing the amount of waste heading to the landfill and reusing items that are still usable. And by taking good care of our belongings, we can then pass them along to someone else when we are finished with them. Doesn't that make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside?

Moral of the story, don't be afraid to think outside the box when it comes to giving gifts. It's not about the money you spend (or don't spend), it's the thought behind the gift that counts.


  1. I'm impressed you're re-gifting! We did the same thing this year! My boys--almost 4 and almost 1--didn't know the difference and were happy as clams with their toys! For the 1 year old, we just wrapped up old stuff from my first son :) I'm glad to know I'm not the only one!!!!


  2. I love it! I do the same thing! In fact, Zeke will be getting a couple of toys for his 2nd birthday (April) that he got yesterday for Christmas and was scared of (ahem, Mr. Potato Head!). Almost all of his presents last Christmas were hand-me-downs.

    I'm so glad I'm not the only one!

  3. Congrats on the computer! I do the same thing.....all my kids get things I found at thrift shops or ebay. The best part about regifting, you don't have to waste all your time trying to figure out how to get it out of the box! :)