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To have a completely second hand Christmas

124 replies

Wiltinglillies · 16/11/2019 12:56

Each year I've felt more and more uncomfortable with buying a load of stuff, lots of it plastic, new when identical items are available for often a fraction of the price on eBay or Facebook.
All in our household are totally on board and MIL always gets us stuff from charity shops, so she'll be ok. I just want to explain to my small wider family how important it is. Also intend to spend the same amount of money as usual on other kids in the extended family, so they'll be able to get bigger gifts.
What do you think? Would you be offended if an auntie or cousin got you something (obviously clean and working) second hand?

OP posts:
SleepingStandingUp · 16/11/2019 16:38

Re kids, if you want to spend the same, don't just buy MORE, unless they have a huge empty house and play room. Use the rest on an experience or give as cash, etc

namechangetheworld · 16/11/2019 16:47

We always buy a mixture of new and second hand presents for Christmas for the children, for financial reasons. I've bought huge Octonauts and Paw Patrol Bundles for fractions of their original price. DD4 loves the fact that the toys once used to belong to another little boy or girl, and likes selling her old things on and imagining who's going to play with them next!

Second hand can sometimes be a bit hit and miss though. I would only buy certain brands of clothes that I know wash well, or plastic toys that can be scrubbed with anti bac.

I wouldn't buy second hand presents for adults or other people's children, sorry.

Fluffiest · 16/11/2019 16:55


Last year a few of my mum friends did a clear out of some of the things their older girls had grown out of and offered them to me. I was so grateful there were beautiful hardly worn dresses, lots of books and toys that made up the majority of DDs Christmas presents.

I keep thinking about trying to organise a big November swap event. Parents can bring all the nice stuff their children have grown out of and other parents can take what they like home. I think it could be a good way to declutter for some and for others it would ease the financial/environmental burden of Christmas

JennyBlueWren · 16/11/2019 17:05

I buy as much as I can second hand (mostly sales and charity shops + ebay for particular items). The only caution I'd give for other people is if they have a dislike of second hand. I recently discovered that my SIL hates second hand clothing (don't know her opinion of other stuff). Oops! I bought my neices some gorgeous second hand clothes last year! This year I have picked up some new things in Reduced to Clear parts of the supermarket.

WagtailRobin · 16/11/2019 17:08

@Wiltinglillies Christmas should be whatever YOU want it to be and gifts are not compulsory, so if you buy a gift and it isn't received gratefully, that's an issue with the recipient and not with your kindness/thoughtfulness.

You don't need to explain or in any way look for validation of gifts, buy whatever you want to buy!

CatherineOfAragonsPrayerBook · 16/11/2019 17:13

As an adult I wouldn't appreciate 2nd hand tat as a gift for Christmas. I would rather have a homemade cake or tin of biscuits.


That's not what the OP is suggesting. Immaculate condition items, many still in their packaging, are all over FB marketplace in my area.

Isn't this more or less new? I would prefer handmade or baked stuff. Or vouchers or a trip to the cinema or something

Craftycorvid · 16/11/2019 17:20

Would be totally happy with 2nd hand, in fact rarely buy new for myself. Great idea, OP, and so much more fun too. I love a good chazza shop rummage and you can find some great things.

RippleEffects · 16/11/2019 17:22

@sweeneytoddsrazor I get where you're coming from with second hand shoes but good brand worn once or twice shoes I'd actually pay a premium for, instead I get them at 90% off rrp. I don't know if it's true but I believe the queen even has someone to break her shoe in for her.

Dilkhush · 16/11/2019 17:24

As an adult I wouldn't appreciate 2nd hand tat as a gift for Christmas. I would rather have a homemade cake or tin of biscuits.

I don't think any adult would want tat for Christmas, second hand or otherwise. Would you really turn your nose up at a 1920s diamond necklace? Or an antique mahogany dressing table? Just because they're second hand?

Leeds2 · 16/11/2019 17:25

I think it is a great ideal to have, and I would have no problem doing this for my partner and children. I wouldn't however buy second hand for other people, nephews and nieces etc, unless they really were as good as new, as in with the plastic wrapping still intact, tags on etc.

Bluewavescrashing · 16/11/2019 17:27

I wouldn't give anything that was shabby or worn looking as a present. Just items that look new. A lot of people give new items to charity shops as they aren't to their taste. Eg recently I found a baby comforter in its packaging in a charity shop, with a garden centre label of £23.99, selling for £1; a board book in new condition for 50p and an immaculate baby gift bag for 50p. = Complete baby gift for £2 so I can also buy a gift for the mother.

InDubiousBattle · 16/11/2019 17:36

It depends if you're extending it to wider family and expecting them to do the same. I go around charity shops loads and perfect condition, ideally suited things are few and far between- I wouldn't want others to feel obliged to trawl charity shops for hours on end.

tinselvestsparklepants · 16/11/2019 19:05

Totally agree and will it everything second hand if I can. Our families prefer it for environmental reasons. I buy refurbished too - just got my first ghds, refurbished for £40, would have been £109 new. Surely it's better all round?

SweetSally · 16/11/2019 19:29

I would love to opt out for the same Christmas gift style however it will not be accepted by members in our extended family (PIL). I wish though! Such a great idea. At least this year we've managed to bring down the amount of gifts we give each other

ForalltheSaints · 16/11/2019 19:46

YANBU but don't leave it too long to tell your family.

Pinkypurple35 · 16/11/2019 19:53

No, sorry Whilst I appreciate your reasons I’d rather either do nothing. I don’t have endless time to rummage in charity shops For decent stuff (and they’re full of tat near me).

WhatsInAName19 · 16/11/2019 20:03

It’s a shame that nobody has been able to articulate why they wouldn’t be happy to receive second hand. Referring to it as “tat”, even though the discussion is about good quality items, is indicative of the snobbery surrounding second hand shopping I think. The fact that it’s dismissed as “tat” even though there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it and it’s an item that the giver feels would be genuinely suitable for the recipient, it just happens to have belonged to someone else first.

I am genuinely interested to know why people feel so strongly against receiving second hand gifts.

maddiemookins16mum · 16/11/2019 21:19

Because I don’t want somebody’s cast offs.
It’s just a preference.
I’ve never purchased second hand for myself or family, it’s not snobby (I can make an inexpensive pair of Supermarket slippers last 6 years easily - looking at them right now). it’s just not what our family have ever done.

RiotAndAlarum · 16/11/2019 21:40

I've had success in recent years, buying vintage jewellery for family and close friends. Not earrings,
and rings are tricky to size.

Pinkypurple35 · 16/11/2019 21:42

Sorry Whatsinaname but it is mainly tat near me, I understand that in some places there a decent quality items for bargain prices, but again I stress not near me. I actually suspect that they strip out the better quality stuff and send it else where.

IceCreamAndCandyfloss · 16/11/2019 21:44

Because I don’t want clothes someone else has worn or a gift that’s been purchased not with me in mind but because it was cheap and suited the giver. It would go to waste and defeat the environmental aspect anyway.

sqirrelfriends · 16/11/2019 21:48

Excellent idea, our local charity shops are full of tat but we will be buying some bits from marketplace and are having mostly sustainable toys this year.

Blueshadow · 16/11/2019 22:10

I’ve done it for my family for years - we give each other secondhand books and clothing all the time as well as more usual things like chocolate. dh’s family would be absolutely horrified by it though (secondhand equals shamefully poor to them) so we buy new for them. It’s definitely a class thing.

bridgetreilly · 16/11/2019 22:11

I think it's okay, but I would want more than 'clean and working', I'd want 'new or as new'.

Mammyloveswine · 16/11/2019 22:14

I give my own kids second stuff as they're too little to understand but I couldn't give others second hand unless their parents specified...

We were gifted some wooden brio last year from a restive but it had belonged to their child so actually cost them nothing. I was a bit put out and thought they might have at least bought my child something new to go with it! Even just a single train!

Especially as they had given me a specific list for their children..

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