Besides making gifts, I also got quite a few from the thrift stores, straight up. But you’re not surprised, are you?
Back in October some time, I was at United Volunteers with the kids; I think we were looking for Halloween costume stuff. Right up by the check out was this fabulous Melissa & Doug stable. Pinkerbelle saw it and wanted it. I agreed to get it, but only because I knew if I left it there and went back to get it so it would be a surprise, it would be gone. But I told her I would put it away and she would get it later, for some “event”.
I was hoping she might forget about it, and thought she might have, since she never mentioned it again. Until two days before Christmas, we were in the same store, and she said “I wonder if I’ll get the stable for Christmas!”. So it wasn’t a surprise, but she was excited just the same.
It sells on Amazon for $73; I paid $12. It’s missing the fence, but did come with several horses.
For Craig, I found Seinfeld SceneIt? new and still in the plastic outer wrap (actually Dixie spied it for me). The original price tag on the back is $39.99; Amazon sells it for $15. My price: $6.
The kids did the bulk of their shopping at thrift stores. Skippy got a baby harp seal from Firstborn, and a killer whale from Pinkerbelle. They thought that was funny (you know… killer whales eat seals). They were about 50 cents each, and yes, I washed them.
Skippy found the big hardcover Guinness World Records book for Firstborn, $1. Pinkerbelle got an unused-in-the-package paper weight for Craig, $1.75. We put in a photo of the two of them at the beach several years ago. (Craig laughed at his lily-white skin, but in his defense it was the beginning of the vacation. He can get very, very brown. I, on the other hand, am lily-white all the way.)
The others are a sampling of the stocking stuffers that I got. I found several McDonalds toys (Beany Babies and Build-a-Bears) still in the bags, 25-50 cents each. A mini jigsaw puzzle for each of them, 25 cents each. They also each got an age-appropriate book.
Firstborn got Craig a nice dress shirt for $1. I’ll admit, that was my suggestion. Firstborn wasn’t particularly excited about it, but he would have been hard-pressed to find anything else as nice or as useful for $1.
Last thing to show: Skippy got Pinkerbelle this old framed horse picture for $1.50. She loves it!
The moral of this story is to be open-minded about gift-giving. Especially for kids, who tend to have very limited funds, their options may really open up if you browse thrift and consignment stores rather than just Dollar Tree.
As for me, I intend to really be on the lookout as I’m making my thrift store rounds through the year for things that would make good birthday or Christmas gifts for next year.