Last year around this time of year I wrote a series of blog posts about changing the future of gift giving. I decided instead of just giving gifts, I would give good feelings, good times, secondhand or homemade items and help and support to loved ones and friends rather than a whole load of new stuff destined to clutter up their homes on their way to landfill! I decided that although it may be difficult to tell people what to do when it came to giving myself and my children gifts, by changing my ways other people would respond accordingly.
In the busy world of a mum of two my gift giving has mostly boiled down to a whole load of secondhand gifts mainly for kids. My kids have a much better social life than me and they just seem to go to party after party – they went to 6 parties within the space of 3 weeks recently! I have pretty much stopped giving gifts to adults for their birthdays (apart from immediate family), but I don’t think it would go down too well if my kids showed up to a party with no gift – so secondhand it is.
I don’t hide the fact that I give secondhand gifts, I find most people are ok with it and the great thing is that people have started buying me and my kids secondhand gifts unprompted! We met up with some old friends over the weekend who had a new (to us – we haven’t seen them in a while) baby and wanted to take them something. So we took a small unwrapped secondhand gift for each of their children (don’t want any jealous siblings) to give them when we saw them. My friend then produced some belated birthday gifts as pictured above for my children, which were also unwrapped. She explained that they were secondhand, but being it was me, didn’t think I would mind…I definitely didn’t mind, in fact I was really pleased!
It reminded me that more and more people are giving me and my children secondhand gifts which come in recycled packaging or no packaging. On my birthday some friends bought me a whole load of clothes from charity shops and my 3 year old got given mainly secondhand gifts for his birthday. I don’t know all the school mums that well but based on the gifts we gave this year, I will be interested to see what my older son gets next year!
So by giving secondhand gifts and being honest about it, I have found lots of people have seemed quite happy to buy secondhand gifts for me and my children without having to force it upon them….
In case you are wondering why I am so passionate about not giving stuff unless it is secondhand, if you haven’t already seen it please watch the brilliant Story of Stuff.