I thrift shop toys and clothing for Christmas. I admit it and I am not ashamed of it. I have thrift shopped furniture, wall hangings, coats, and other items too. I love bargain shopping. I don't need to thrift shop but I find joy in reusing and recycling items, especially toys for the kids. Most importantly I want to teach my children some important lessons.
My children have never refused a toy in their life, whether brand new or thrifted. They don't mind. Of course they are only 11, 3 and 1 years old...but I hope they never change. They appreciate everything I give them. We don't have large Christmas' in this household, I suppose because we feel we have everything we need or want. Chris is a very generous father and husband. He gives us everything we need and more. He appreciates the fact that I don't ask for much.
My upbringing had a lot to do with the way I am today. I will be the first to admit that I did not have my first pair of Nikes until I was in 8th grade, they were black suede with a big white swoosh on them. I took care of them for years until I grew out of them of course. Even though my parents could both afford to get me the latest fashions, they didn't. They taught me the worth of a dollar and have always taught me to save money...I would always ask them why we never shopped at Macy's or other trendy places...and they would tell me..you can get the same thing at JCPenny or Wal-mart. I was made fun of at school for not having name brands but I didn't care. I had clothing on my back. I also had clothing from garage sales and thrift stores I was very proud of!
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.