Sunday, October 23, 2005

When Santa Spends $10...

...she gets a lot of great toys! My husband and I were blessed with babysitting yesterday, and we whipped through some yard sales with Christmas in mind. Perhaps used toys for Christmas is a cheapo line you don't want to cross, but three-year-olds aren't too hard to please. Just think: no frantic wee-hours assembly! If you've ever struggled to release a toy from its toddler-proof packaging and twist-tie handcuffs, you'll appreciate the ease with which your hyperventilating child can pull the toy from his gift bag.

We're not cruel parents. We just want to forestall the years of I-Pods and Gameboys as long as humanly possible. By careful shopping, we can buy Discovery Toys on our Dollar General budget. And we're not lavishing the extra on ourselves--our gifts to each other are chosen with equal care. Today's purchase of Tinker Toys, medieval castle Legos, Matchbox race track with extra cars and other assorted educational goodies will be more than enough. Just don't anyone tell Andrew that toys are supposed to come in boxes, okay?

Thanks to Laura at In A Strange Land for speaking up about her secret shopping.
If you're looking for quality Christmas gifts that will survive multiple children (or multiple yard sales), check out mega-mommy Barbara Curtis' new picks. I appreciate her thoughtful commentary.


Headmistress, zookeeper said...

We've been buying used things for Christmas and birthday gifts for decades. Our oldest children are now 22, 20, 18, 16, and 15 and they never have objected. They like it, and look at thrift shops and yard sales for presents for each other, too. They are not silly- they understand that they get nicer things this way.=)

Laura Talbert said...

So this is how the Headmistress found her way to my blog. Thanks for the mention, Meredith.
It IS so much easier to buy toys or what-not that is not in the original box. They pack things so well nowadays as to be extremely frustrating to me. Not to mention the trash that results after the holidays/birthdays. 2-3 bags could be filled with packaging alone:-)

Anonymous said...

Some of the things I buy used or on clearance are SO much nicer than what I could buy new for more money. The gorgeous fabric-covered photo album that holds my friends' wedding photos cost me $1 (new, on major clearance). I couldn't have bought even a small item off their registry for that!

The extra time it takes me to find things at garage sales, thrift stores, and used book stores is so worth it! I am stress-free this Christmas, since I've been shopping most of the year, and everything was paid for with cash!