Tuesday, December 29, 2009

One More Post About Christmas Gifts

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.IMG_5037

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.


Heather@ My Frugal Family said...

I am big into buying 2nd hand for gifts. DS (11) got that same Guiness book this year! I found it for $.99 at Goodwill, then it was half off, so I paid $.49 for it. He loves the Guiness books, and Ripley's books. He also got a 2008 edition I got for $3 new at a book sale, and my mom got him the 2009 edition of Ripleys, while my step-mom got him the 2010 edition of Guiness. He loves all of them.

Donna said...

I love this! I wish grandparents would shop more at rummage sales instead of new toys for Christmas presents. (They love rummage sales anyway.)

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

I agree Holly. This year I found an incredible gift for our 94 year old aunt. She used to collect paper weights and old vases. I was in Good Will a couple of weeks ago and found this vase that looks like a paper weight. How cool is that? I may post it on my blog for VTT. Thanks for your great insights. I love hunting for special things at the thrift stores. You just never know what you will come across.


Your Frugal Friend, Niki said...

Fab post, Holly!

I wish everyone would be this open minded.


gina said...

So much more useful than cheesy stuff for a dollar that doesn't work right when you open it or soon after!

Anna said...

that stable was a great find. I got my MIL for Christmas a milk glass plate with hand painted birds on it (she collects bird things) from Goodwill - I think it was $3.

Meg said...

Girl, you rock. You do such a wonderful job shopping and spending so little money. I think you spent less on everyone then I spent on one gift--I need to take tips from you!

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

LOVE the idea of letting the kids pick out gifts at Goodwill or Salvation Army with their allowances. :) The horse stable is so cute!!!

My sister let Natalie choose a gift for me in American Eagle. She choose some silver bangle bracelets, some earrings, and a drop necklace. She was SO excited to wrap it and put it under the tree at my mom's house and made sure it was the first gift opened. I love how excited children get about giving gifts. :)

Norma Lee @ Norma Lee Good said...

You have some great finds! I bought my 21 month old boy some gifts from GOodwill. My husband came home and thought they were brand new! Love it! Also kids need to learn not to be snobby about it! Your kids are precious by the way and very gracious. Yall've done good with them!

Paige said...

Love it! I am all about shopping thrift and consignment shops. You can find great things that your loved ones will enjoy for very little money.

Heather at Happy Chippy Junk said...

OOOO I love a good thrift store story!! Great job this year!! Happy Holidays!!