It might look like a lot of presents but the good news is that I only bought one of them brand new. (A rubber hockey ball.)
Good quality, second-hand toys are so easy to find these days that it has now become my norm to try to find them used before I buy new. In doing this I can at least try to avoid contributing to the demand that drives the unnecessary and excessive production of new toys.
Do my boys know that most of their presents are second-hand? Yes, absolutely.
Do they care? No, not at all!
Buying second-hand does obviously take a little bit more time and effort but I really do believe that it is worth it. For this year’s presents, the very specifically requested Jurassic Lego set was unsurprisingly the hardest thing to find and it did take me a few bidding wars on ebay before I managed to get a good set. The micro-scooter, roller skates (and protection pads) were however very easy to find locally through Marketplace, and I even managed to find some great street hockey sticks on ebay, although we don’t quite need the full set of 12!
In terms of the cost, the only item that I paid anywhere near the actual price of a brand new one was funnily enough for a book that I unfortunately couldn’t find locally and so the postage took up most of the cost.
For the wrapping up, I used plain brown paper for the larger items and just some material for the hockey sticks. As for the non-environmentally friendly plastic signs, luckily my son had asked for a Scooby Doo birthday again (repeated from 2 years ago) and so I luckily still had these to re-use.
My youngest was very happy with all of his presents this year and I am of course delighted with the environmental savings that my second-hand stash has achieved. However, in terms of the potential cash savings, unfortunately I am still currently stuck in the overcompensating phase of buying second-hand presents where I just spend the same amount of money that I normally would but buy more presents. I do know that I need to stop feeling guilty about it (as there is no need) and rein in it before they get used to it. No wonder they aren’t complaining!