Christmas is a time of celebrating family and friendships, and of giving gifts to show your appreciation. Giving presents is lovely, but sometimes the pressure of finding the perfect present for so many different people at once can be overwhelming, and expensive!
Our family is trying to cut down on gifts by doing Kris Kringle for the adults (usually something edible so it doesn't add to the clutter), and embracing the challenge of finding at least one second hand gift.
Here are some tips on where to shop and what to buy if you’re looking to take on the challenge too!
Where to shop
Specialty second hand stores
Shops like Use-Ta! and our neighbours Mutual Muse sell pre-loved brand name clothes. Whether it’s for the little ones, or yourself, you can be sure to find something to suit all tastes and budgets. I picked up a beautiful silk scarf for my mother at Mutual Muse (that would have been out of my budget new!) and some cute clothes for my kids on Christmas day at Use-Ta! Vintage stores like Chapel Street Bazaar or Vintage Garage can be great for quirky trinkets or beautiful retro furnishings.
Savvy sellers and buyers are out in droves at this time of year to grab themselves a bargain. You can find all sorts of treasures at garage sales, but you will need to be prepared to rummage! If you’re looking for upcoming sales near you try News Classifieds, Trading Post or Gumtree.
Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace
People often sell bulk items together on Gumtree, so it’s worth your while stalking the different categories regularly. If you’re looking for something in particular, you can make sure that you get in first on an item as soon as it’s listed by creating a saved search. This will automatically email you immediately when an item is listed with your chosen criteria. Facebook Marketplace can be handy for finding items locally, as can local Buy Sell Swap groups, just search for your suburb or area and 'BSS'.
Op shops/charity stores
No longer a dumping ground for unwanted items, many charity stores only sell the highest quality items they receive. To score the good stuff, it's best to pop in often and to shop with an open mind - if you're looking for something too specific it can be hard to find! I picked up a great tee for my dad, washed, ironed and wrapped it up with some yummy chocolates and I think he'll love it.
A quick Google search can find your nearest second hand or trash and treasure markets. In Melbourne we love to scout Camberwell Market on a Sunday morning. The Melbourne Book Market, previously held in Federation Square will be revived this weekend at Abbotsford Convent. It’s the perfect place to pick up a pre-loved book.
Not sure where to start with second hand? Here a few ideas to get the creativity flowing. The options are endless!
For Kids: Books, puzzles, games, clothes, console games, DVDs, Lego, matchbox cars, dolls
For Mum: Vintage or retro jewellery, cushion covers, special tea cup and saucer, cookie cutters
For Dad: Retro band t-shirt, book, records, watch or surfboard
For grandparents: photo frame (with a special photo in it), book, plant pots
For teachers: vase (with flowers from the garden), cake plate (with a homemade cake or cookies)
Remember, anything goes at Christmas. A gift given with thought is always more appreciated than something that is expensive or bought because you 'had to buy something'. Besides saving money and being better for the environment, buying second hand can be a fun experience for the family and an opportunity to talk to your kids about making better choices when you go shopping. My 6 year old is old enough to understand the importance of reducing and reusing so he has been helping me with the Christmas shopping this year and he has actually been more resourceful and thoughtful than I expected!
I encourage you to have a bit of fun this Christmas and take up the second hand gift challenge. You could even encourage to do it for your work’s Secret Santa! If you’re looking to find gifts for a new baby or a child in your life, pop into our store or shop online. We’d love to help you find the perfect present!