Santa goes second hand!
Posted by Kara | Filed under Kara
Yup, I’m talking about Christmas so take a deep breath and come along for the ride! I don’t think I’ve ever thought about the holidays this early in the year before, but given we’re pinching pennies I thought it best to plan ahead. We’re at a challenging age with our boys because our 5 year old’s desires are becoming expensive and our 16 month old has everything he needs, but should still have something under the tree.
So how to provide a Christmas full of dreams and wishes without making me have nightmares over the credit card bills in the New Year? Well the first answer would be not to use a credit card! I have never made it through a holiday season without breaking out the plastic and this is causing me great anxiety. I don’t want to send our budgeting efforts careening into the land of no return but I want to give my kids a Christmas they’ll remember.
The first step was to take a deep breath and remember that Christmas isn’t all about presents and that if they got too many gifts, nothing would be special anyway. So my husband and I sat down and tried to decide on a couple of special items that would be meaningful to each of the boys. We settled on a joint gift for the both of them that would give them a chance to play together and get them out from in front of the television. We chose a play kitchen.
In looking at our budget, a play kitchen would take up most of what we have to spend, but I had my heart set on the idea. Can you say stubborn? You bet! I looked at toy store flyers, I tried to find coupons, and I went on-line to see if I could get something cheaper through a manufacturer, but alas, a new kitchen was just not happening.
So Santa had to close the toy shop and jingle on over to the thrift store. Oh how I cringed and whined about having to give my children something second hand for Christmas and all this led to was the sudden realization that I am a spoiled brat. Yup, I said it, spoiled. But I had to make a decision, I could get a used toy kitchen for a quarter of the cost of a new one and be able to purchase a few other things for under the tree, or I could just buy the new kitchen and nothing else.
In short order, I found a fairly newer model on a free classified site that looked brand new and only spent $50. Santa pulled up her slightly worn red trousers and realized that the kids would never know the difference. And so what if they did? Why should a perfectly good used toy go to waste when it still had so much life left in it? It reminded me of the old clay-mation Rudoph cartoon and the Island of Misfit toys and suddenly I was okay with a second hand Christmas.
Santa was being environmentally and budget friendly, always a winning combination! So now this has me wondering if they toy shop should close all together this year and see if Santa can’t get everything second hand. Hmmmmm……is that a personal challenge or what!
Happy Frugal living!