Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Life Lessons: Thrift Shopping for Christmas
My parents still live in the house I was born and raised in and I always used to ask them why they haven't moved...they say because that is their home and there is nothing wrong with it. When I was a kid, I was ashamed of the house we lived in. It was yellow on the outside with brown shutters, near the railroad tracks. It only had two bedrooms and one bathroom...and nothing matched on the inside...something I can laugh at now, because most "Hispanic" households have nothing inside that matches...it's just a stereotype we really fit in at the time. I am not at all ashamed of my parent's home anymore and it is still yellow on the outside with brown shutters. I am so happy they still live there because I have a HOME...something not many can say..a home to return back to that you were raised in, that is golden to me. Last year, Chris and I painted the living room and dining room, and it was monumental! The walls hadn't been changed since the 70's!
I learned many lessons on money from my parents. I also learned to be frugal and not materialistic. I do have wants still but they are not huge wants and I am happy with that. Christmas' at my parents were not huge but we did get what we wanted, and now that I remember, I didn't ask for much back then either. My parents could afford to get us what we wanted throughout the year, I can honestly say I always had clothing, food in my stomach and a warm bed to come home to. I was never without anything and our bills were always paid. My parents never lived paycheck to paycheck...and they taught me to be the same. I will always cherish that lesson. Was I spoiled?? Yes, with lots of love!!
I am trying to teach my children that they don't need brand new things to be popular or happy. I do buy my children new things throughout the year and for Christmas, it may not be the latest leap pad or video game but they do get brand new toys and they also get thrifted toys, they never know the difference. If someday they ask me why I buy thrifted items, I will tell them. My step-daughter has already asked me this Summer and she said it was the coolest thing ever, to get more for your money. My children get name brand clothing as well, just at a cheaper price. Not that name brands matter...but sometimes as you may know, the quality seems to be a little better. My youngest son gets hand me downs from his older brother, and all he says is "cool." I want to teach them the important lessons that I learned growing up. So far we have been blessed, we don't go hungry, we have clothes on our backs, a warm bed to come home to, and we do not live paycheck to paycheck. I know many back home are going through some rough times. Chris and I save for not only our rainy days but others, because we never know if a friend or family member may need more than we do.
So this Christmas as many before and in the future, will consist of thrifted items, some new and some old. That is just how we choose to celebrate our gift giving during the holidays with our kids. They love us either way!!
I hope that these lessons carry on when our children have their own kids.