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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:
Maxineputyourredshoeson · 18/11/2019 15:58

I agree with what @unlimiteddilutingjuice posted. We buy a lot second hand, probably 90% of all of our clothes are second hand. But at Christmas I like to buy new and spoil ourselves and others a little bit.

We do pass unused toys/games/clothes to my friends children or charity shops/Facebook free sites.

Dilkhush · 18/11/2019 16:03

I'm spending a year trying to not buy new stuff. Presents are tricky, though some vintage/antique pieces work. I've bought my mother a glass vase, it's beautiful and she can paint it as part of a still life.
I haven't ventured into second hand clothes for other people, but am just looking at this site www.turtle-doves.co.uk and think it might work. Has anyone else tried them?

Bluewavescrashing · 18/11/2019 16:10

@Dilkhush I have several pairs of the cashmere wrist warmers from Turtle Doves. I've given a few pairs as presents too. They feel very luxurious for a second hand item!

This afternoon I dropped off a bag of unwanted items to the charity shop, most in new condition. I bought four items for DD's birthday--a filofax with labels, singing flower game sealed in the box, a board game in cellophane wrap still and a new pair of pug slippers. Total cost £11. She will be thrilled with them!

Sally2791 · 18/11/2019 16:14

Excellent idea. Mine have been brought up on secondhand and it’s much better for the planet

charm8ed · 18/11/2019 17:41

I wouldn’t really like a second hand Christmas for my family but it’s a nice idea if you’re into second hand stuff.
I’m with you with buying more and more new items that are mostly not at all needed so have really scaled back Christmas and just buy for my DC and parents. We see lots of other relatives and enjoy out time with them but don’t exchange gifts. It works out really well.

ActualHornist · 18/11/2019 18:00

Well, it’s not a bad ideas assuming you are in an area that has decent charity shops or you have a car for Facebook purchases.

I’d rather have nothing than a second hand t-shirt that I haven’t asked for, probably won’t wear and is just another thing to be recycled. I like to ask for premium skincare for Christmas, something I wouldn’t buy for myself day to day but is a treat.

Toys and clothing are fine for children. Adults not IMO and I think a foodstuff is better.

holidays987 · 18/11/2019 20:41

Would you be offended if an auntie or cousin got you something (obviously clean and working) second hand?

A member of our extended family has recently sent out a message to all of us saying they are doing this. All gifts will be 'pre-loved', either their hand me downs, or from charity shops.

I replied that I'd prefer we said 'no presents' at all between our family unit and theirs.. I'd just prefer less clutter, especially used / second hand stuff that's most likely going to be tat. Also I'm usually quite generous with their kids and give money etc so I actually think it's a little rude.

WeWantSweet · 18/11/2019 20:53

You make complete sense, but only as long as a minority do it as otherwise our consumption driven economy would tank. Sad as governments don't seem to be preparing for the inevitable.

treepolitics · 18/11/2019 21:00

I’d rather have the option to do no gifts or secondhand - agree that I like skincare, nice bath stuff or wine and you can’t do that secondhand, but most people would be happy to forgo the gift exchange altogether.

There has to be reciprocity though.

justbeingadad · 18/11/2019 23:21

As long as the food isn't 2nd hand I think it's a brilliant idea! Both my children have loads of second hand toys and they often donate their toys too.

Wiltinglillies · 19/11/2019 00:03

justbeingadad Grin

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manicinsomniac · 19/11/2019 00:53

I don't know, I'm on the fence.

I haven't bought anything new (except food, underwear and some toiletries!) for our household in years and years. I don't think there's anything first hand left in the house! I am addicted to vintage shops/fairs, charity shops, ebay, facebook and car boot sales. Nothing to do with the environment - it's just cheaper and makes shopping fun. I don't see the point in spending money on new stuff.

BUT - I do buy new things as presents for extended family and friends. I just can't guarantee that they'll be ok with second hand - for whatever reason. It's a bit weird to buy new things for people I value less than my own immediate family but it's just the way it has to be, I think.

Plus, if you want to think of it in a benefiting society kind of way - buying second hand helps the environment but hurts the economy and buying new helps the economy but harms the environment. So if you do both for different people then it's win win ... maybe?!

Whattodoabout · 19/11/2019 05:27

Good quality second hand stuff is great, I buy lots of it on eBay. My MIL has a charity shop addiction and she mostly buys absolute tat that goes straight back to a charity shop. When I say tat I mean last Christmas she bought me a set of vampire books and some diamanté heels, if you know me you’d know neither of these were to my taste. She tends to buy really grubby worn out things for the DC as well, 99% of it is a total miss. DH says she’s always been this way for as long as he can remember. I find this just as wasteful as buying new plastic tat because we don’t get any use out of it at all.

converseandjeans · 19/11/2019 06:01

wilting lots of us have said YABU but sounds like you're going ahead with the idea anyway!

SunniDay · 19/11/2019 06:11

I buy plenty second hand but wouldn't generally do so for Xmas outside of my own family. If you don't want to contribute to landfill I second the experience suggestion.

How about vouchers for the cinema and give some pick and mix, farm park/local attraction, soft play/trampoline park/theme park/go carts/spar treatment meal voucher for a pub/local restaurant/pizza hut.....or simply cash or a gift voucher for somewhere they like to shop then at least you know they will like what they buy and it won't be wasted. I'd say most of these experience gifts contribute to local employment too so that's a good thing.

Wiltinglillies · 19/11/2019 08:45

wilting lots of us have said YABU but sounds like you're going ahead with the idea anyway!

Actually, I have taken note of all of the comments and am not going to approach the idea with extended family based on views of numerous posters. It's been very useful. The gifts I've listed are for immediate family. Other suggestions of food and cinema tickets etc have also been very useful.

OP posts:
PineappleDanish · 19/11/2019 08:54

I'm a charity shop volunteer and I have had LOADS of great things for presents from our shop. Only yesterday I was pricing up yankee candle jars, brand new, just obviously not to someone's taste. Why wouldn't you get them from us rather than getting "brand new" somewhere else? We have loads of barely worn party wear for children and adults, quirky homewares which you aren't going to get elsewhere, vintage jewellery, pretty silk scarves, bags... loads of stuff which would make lovely presents.

Second hand is not by nature "tat". I'd argue that new from Poundland and the likes is far more like tat.

I have my eye on a rather lovely 1970s German vase in the shop at the mo, it's about 2 feet tall and all oranges, reds and brown. I would be delighted if someone bought me something like that for Christmas.

I am also a big fan of asking for tickets, experiences or something similar for the kids.

CravingCheese · 19/11/2019 09:13

Brilliant idea. I see absolutely nothing wrong with it.

My DH bought me a lovely vintage clutch last Christmas. (I am very certain that he was not the one that actually chose the gift... But I received a lovely clutch. => no reason to complain.)

shinynewapple · 19/11/2019 10:38

I think you are doing the right thing OP. I wouldn't feel comfortable buying second hand for others in case they weren't happy with the idea but absolutely agree with getting people 'useful' presents or gift cards.

I would say avoid buying anybody anything from places that specialise in gifts e.g 'Not on the High Street ', don't buy personalised items and don't buy or ornaments or pictures as these things very much personal preference.

DH has always been an EBay shopper and I think a lot of the things he's purchased for himself, me and DS have been second hand but you wouldn't really know it . I think my resolution for next year is going to be to get more of my own clothing second hand.

ActualHornist · 20/11/2019 13:32

@PineappleDanish Lucky you - the last time I went into one of our local shops it was all well-worn Primarni for more than it cost brand new Smile

Your vase and candles - lovely idea, but I don’t want that. I’d have nowhere to put a large vase and I don’t like candles.

5BloodyMonsters · 09/12/2019 08:36

I'm a mother of 5 and after moving in the summer we have struggled to get back on our feet so alot of our gifts are second hand. Do I mind? Nope.. Will my children mind? Nope. Iv been able to get the things they want at a fraction of the price with out all the wastage. Xx

ForalltheSaints · 09/12/2019 08:44

If that is what you all do and it is planned and known in advance, seems OK to me.

AllergicToAMop · 09/12/2019 08:56

I think it's a great plan for next year. Certainly not this year. Most people have Christmas already sorted, don't they?

AllergicToAMop · 09/12/2019 08:57

Ugh. I've just seen the original dateBlush

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