Changing houses and mixing traditions is just part of the stress that comes with the whole stepfamily territory during the holidays. Christmas shopping, if you both come into the marriage with kids and have kids of your own, can get really expensive. Not to mention that some blended families exchange gifts with ex-spouses, their new spouses and their kids, too and don’t forget about aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, stepgrandparents…! Whew! So while pondering some ways to cut holiday expenses, one of my favorite modern day( S)Mamas, Danielle, offered the idea of re-gifting and said that she even plans to try it this year.
“Re-gifting is also another cost-effective gift giving option and something my sister-in-law was infamous for. If you receive something that doesn’t suit your tastes, you have no purpose for, or that you already have; instead of possibly offending the person who gave it to you by asking for a gift receipt to return it for something else, you simply give it to someone else you think it would be better for (think the holiday fruitcake pass-along taken to the next level:-). It’s kind of sneaky and some might see it as disrespectful but it’s always the thought behind the gift that counts and better that gift go to someone who will love it than keep it for yourself and have it stashed away collecting dust,” said Danielle.
She went on to explain that you have to be VERY careful when going this route. You have to make sure to keep track so that you don’t wind up giving it back to the giver. Imagine the horror of giving the gift and have the receiver say ‘oh!! remember when I got you one of these last year?!?!’ Yikes!! It’s a good option, however, with gifts you receive from people who live out of town or for giving to those who live out of town, and even better when the initial giver doesn’t know and/or has limited to no contact with the eventual receiver.
Well we were so impressed by the idea of recycling gifts and cutting your holiday expenses that we thought we share a few of our recycled gift ideas with all of you.
Model Train Set: Train sets, if taken care of, can last a long time and is really good recycled gift idea for children. For example, you could pass it along to a younger cousin.
Books: From a collection of children’s Dr. Seuss books to old classics or self-help books, like Martha Stewart’s “Lessons and Recipes for the Home Cook; books are great and thoughtful ideas.
Champagne Glasses: If you’re anything like my husband and I, you may have received duplicate wedding gifts that you just never got around to returning. So, if you still have those champagne glasses, picture frames or a toaster, consider re-gifting it.
Neckties:My husband has about 100 neckties or so because for some reason, most people buy a father a tie or a wallet for just about every occasion. They are a fantastic recycled gift idea for men.
Video Games: Instead of selling those video games that your son or daughter only played one time to Gamestop, consider giving it to another family member or family friend for Christmas this year.
Baby Items: I had a baby 7 months ago and I have a swing that my baby boy barely used, a bassinet that he never used and tons of clothes with the tags still on them. Any friend or family that is expecting a baby is getting some of my baby items this year. Baby clothes, bottle warmers, monitors, and baby furniture are excellent recycled gifts ideas.