I want to share the link to Mrs. Catherine's secondhand Christmas post--not to heap guilt on those who shop Target, but rather, to make less guilty those of us who don’t. For Santa gifts, I’m shooting for 100% used. The kids are young, and relatives will be sending a few new toys, as well. This year’s been more of a challenge than I expected. A four-year-old is highly aware of all covert activities involving toy shopping! I could have toy shopped for less at yard sales, but playing Santa is much more fun as a team.
Here’s how my husband and I shopped for toys—together--without hiring a babysitter. We have a favorite thrift store with a variety of toys (and more importantly, very tall aisles). One Sunday afternoon, we each took a cart; mine loaded with kids, his, with his overcoat. He shopped; I distracted. We met at the juncture of two aisles and swapped carts. I sifted through his finds and added a few I had spotted. His coat covered the loot until he paid for the toys ($19, in case you’re curious). After hiding the bags in the trunk, he returned with a triumphant smile. Let’s just say a certain little boy will be very pleased December 25th.
Later that night, we carefully inspected each box. (Do this in the store when possible.) Though I sometimes get burned with missing parts, the “wins” outnumber the losses. If you must, make your money back by selling the extra parts on Ebay. And don’t forget to recycle your old toys before the “new” old toys are unwrapped! I just resold some Discovery Toys on Craiglist for triple my thrift store price. That’s like getting paid $25 to play with the toys for a year!
For more, here's a post from the archives, When Santa spends $10.