Why We’re Having A Second Hand Christmas

I love Christmas but there is something about it that really annoys me – excessive spending and pointless present giving.

I love the build-up to Christmas. I love the cosy evenings in front of the tree. I love watching festive movies, visiting Christmas markets and eating mince pies. I love making decorations and I love watching Cherry get excited by it all.

What I don’t love is listening to people say they are stressed trying to decide what to buy people for presents, or even worse saying they are spending money they don’t have to buy things for people because they feel like that ‘have to’.

The way I see it is that if you find buying presents a chore or you can’t afford to do it then DON’T.

If you feel bad because you know people are going to buy you something then tell them not to bother. If they choose not to listen then that’s there choice! It really is simple. Or if you do want to give something then make it. It doesn’t have to be expensive as long as you have put thought into it.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti-presents. There are some people who are amazing at buying presents, they see something that they know the person will love. They have a knack for it and receiving a present that you truly love is great but it very rarely happens and more often you’re just given something that you don’t really like by someone that doesn’t really care because they don’t like buying presents and are just relieved they’ve found something to give you.

It’s this that I find such a pointless waste of money and makes me wish it had just been donated to someone who really needed it.

One way people seem to avoid getting something they don’t want is to tell people something they do want, this again just defeats the whole point in my opinion as if it’s something you want that much then you would have bought it. What I’ve heard quite a few families do is give each other Christmas lists of things they want, not kids, but adults! I mean honestly! If one of my parents gave me a Christmas list then I would tell them to grow up!

We are spending Christmas with Mr C’s family this year and luckily we’ve decided to ‘buy for the kids only’ which has taken away a lot of the stress of present buying, well for him anyway, I’ve been telling him to suggest this for years!

Anyway my rant is over and I will get onto the main point of this post!

When it comes to kids I do think they should receive presents, it’s all part of it and I can remember how much I enjoyed opening mine when I was a little girl BUT I don’t think you need to go mad and spend a ridiculous amount of money which is why the majority of Cherry’s presents this year are second hand.

Everything below is second-hand. It has all been through the washing machine (apart from the bus) and is as good as new, and the best part is it came in at just £22, for everything!

Vintage Fisher Price Bus

Vintage Fisher Price Bus

Vintage Trolls

Vintage Trolls

Care Bears

Vintage Troll

Vintage Troll

Buying cheaply and not spending money on buying people presents for the sake of it makes me feel better about it all. As the kids get older I am also going to let them choose a charity that they want to give to at Christmas. I think it’s so important to remind them how lucky they are at a time when it’s easy to get greedy.

What do you think?

I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the whole ‘present giving’ scenario.


  1. says

    I absolutely agree! I have two bags for life full of bits I bought at an nct sale well over a year ago! On Christmas Day when we all post pics of our children on Fb etc of them opening their presents it will look like we have gone mad, spent a fortune and spoilt them. Well the last part will be true but I worked out I have spent about £25 each and that’s it! I grew up with car boot sale Christmasses and I loved them! Great finds Jess xx

  2. says

    I couldn’t agree more. I have no problems giving something to the children that is second hand. It is still new to them! And as for thoughtless gifts… don’t get me started. What a waste of money! I’d rather they didn’t spend their limited funds on something I don’t need, want or like.
    Fivegoblogging recently posted…I could tell you but then…My Profile

  3. says

    I agree; I’ve always bought so much second-hand stuff and generally if I can get somethings second hand and in good condition then I’ll do that over buying brand new. Christmas is magical because of the people around you and as a kid, more the getting a gift than actully what it is and far less about how new or otherwise. Plus second hand = far less irritating and hugely frustrating stupid packaging to cause tantrumms on Christmas day :) x
    ps. Love the bus!
    amy @nearly everything but the kitchen sink recently posted…Missing GapsMy Profile

  4. says

    I am so with you Jess! I hate the whole presents thing as people always ask what you want and i don’t want anything.

    My wider family now all do a secret santa so you only buy for one person which is so much better/easier/cheaper!

    For the kids we will get loads given as usual despite me telling people not to as i don’t want anymore toys cluttering up the house (mean mummy!)

    You go some great bargains – love the retro bus :)

    • says

      I am exactly the same, I’m always ‘sorting’ through the toy boxes and binning things. I hate anything that has loads of plastic bits and even puzzles are a nightmare as the pieces get lost! It’s not even like they play with all the toys, Cherry is usually found playing with something totally random and J is obsessed with paper and my old tube of mascara! x
      Jessica Cherry recently posted…Why We’re Having A Second Hand ChristmasMy Profile

  5. says

    What a great idea. I love the trolls especially. I used to have one that was dressed as a pink dinosaur. I’m feeling all sentimental now and wondering if its still in my parents attic.

    We’re doing a hand made Christmas this year. So far I’ve made chutneys & marmalade. Next I have plans for Chrustmas cake & biscuits.
    Amy Lorimer recently posted…Getting To Know David.My Profile

    • says

      I used to love trolls when I was little, that’s why I’m kind of enforcing them onto Cherry! She will prob hate them!

      Home-made Xmas’ are a great idea, so much more thought and effort than buying some bit of crap. Next year when J is a bit older and I can actually do things again I will be doing the same x
      Jessica Cherry recently posted…Why We’re Having A Second Hand ChristmasMy Profile

  6. says

    Love this post. So true. I think too often the true meaning of Christmas escapes us all. I do the atmosphere and decorating and Xmas movies but the present side of kills me. All these people that u have to buy for just cause they buy for u when I don’t need anything. I have asked our entire families both sides to please donate to a charity instead!!! My two are too young and have everything they need. I love the second toys u found. Great finds. I am partial to rewrapping. My two old just wants something to rip open and play with. He don’t care if it’s a toy he had before and just hasn’t seen or played for awhile. It’s like reintroducing their toys. Few months before Xmas take stuff they like but maybe haven’t focused on in awhile. Hahaha while my two are young this is what will happen. Going into debt for Xmas presents it’s just incredibly silly.

    • says

      Totally agree and re-wrapping is a great idea!It’s so easy for toys to get cast aside and not played with, it’s pointless to just go and add more to the collection! And yep I just can’t believe people get in to debt over Xmas, I find it really sad, it shouldn’t even be about the presents. I know it’t exciting for kids but like you said, they just like to unwrap things when they are young, it can be anything! J’s fave thing to play with is my old mascara tube!! x
      Jessica Cherry recently posted…Why We’re Having A Second Hand ChristmasMy Profile

  7. says

    Oh I love the trolls! I had one with pink hair when I was little, I wonder where it’s ended up! I agree that it’s silly to buy random pointless things, although I’ll admit that my sister and I ask my Dad to put together a book list each Christmas; we always give him something special that we’ve thought of (this year it’s a bauble with the girls’ handprints) but I also love to restock his library and treat him to a pile of new reading, and as I can’t keep up with what he already has, the list is very helpful.

  8. says

    Very, very true. Both our families are so into presents that we do feel the stress and it has become a bit of a financial burden. We prepared for it this year but still! I love 2nd hand gifts, personally and most of Talitha’s gifts from us, since she was born, have been bought 2nd hand. This year, her gifts are new though not that it makes a jot of difference to her!
    Circus Queen recently posted…Shop Independent: Ten gift ideas for pregnant mumsMy Profile

  9. says

    I love this post Jess – this exactly the kind of thing that people need to remember over Christmas. This year we are mostly only buying for kids and I’m making some biscuits for adults and it has been such a huge relief. We don’t have the money and we definitely don’t have the time to buy for everyone. Even with Lucas’ cousins I know I don’t spend as much on them as their mum does on Lucas but I’ve had to make my peace with that, we spend what we can afford and I take the time to choose the gifts. Like you’ve said if she wants to spend more she can but I’m not going to feel bad about it every year. I think you have just the right attitude to Christmas and I love that Cherry will be getting some lovely pre-loved toys, what a great idea xx
    Hayley @hayleyfromhome recently posted…Twin Pregnancy Diary – 34 WeeksMy Profile

  10. says

    I love your rant…my husband always says I’m angry around Christmas and it’s because so few people recognise the true meaning behind it…which makes me so angry. There should be no stress around giving and buliding memories together. I am so pro second hand! and don’t get people who spend so much money! ARGH! I could rant forever about it! Lol xxxx

  11. says

    I totally get this. I should probably buy second hand a little more than I do. But I DON’T spend a lot of money on Christmas presents. We have got a couple of bits for our girls to open in their stockings and that is about it. It isn’t about that for me and it never has been. Mads birthday is on Christmas Eve and last year it just got too much as family and friends just went crazy. I don’t want them growing up thinking it is about presents. x
    Katie @mummydaddyme recently posted…35 Months- One Month Off Three.My Profile

  12. Clare says

    I agree with you – I’ve been busy making Christmas presents; even though I know they may not be so well received as me spending lots of money that I don’t have!
    Any further news on your caravan project?

  13. says

    Completely agree with this. I have suddenly got really sick of buying so much stuff and really want to simplify how much we buy and buy second hand more. We have got some brill bargains from eBay for bits we needed for the house and I am become quite the charity shop crawler.

    I already regret buying what I have for the girls, we didn’t go mad but there’s quite a few buts and they’d have enough just with family presents and one of two things from us.

    I too want to make sure we bring charities into Christmas, I like the idea of choosing one to donate to and I also want to make a point of having a sort out before each Christmas and taking unwanted toys to charity shops etc.

    L x

  14. says

    I really want Christmas to be about magic and family for my children and not about stuff. I do think that presents are part of the magic, but we don’t go crazy at all. This year the kids are having a joint Christmas present and a load of books which we would have brought them anyway. And we always fill their stockings with useful things like socks and pants and bubble bath and toothbrushes.
    A friend I used to work with had thousands of pounds worth of debt and four kids. Every year she’d spend hundreds on each child for Christmas and the whole thing just made me feel so uncomfortable. x
    Lucy recently posted…the work of the christmas fairiesMy Profile


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