Let's try something together: imagine if we weren't able to receive a traditional Christmas gift (a physical object, with wrapping paper, ribbon, bow and tag).
What do you think you'd like to receive instead, which would make you smile and warm your heart in the same way (or perhaps, if we may be wild to suggest, even MORE)?
Can you come up with 3 things you'd like to receive that aren't a traditional Christmas gift?
Here are some of mine:
- A fancy meal at one of my favourite restaurants.
- A mani and pedi / facial / hair treatment voucher.
- A super cozy merino wool jumper from a sustainable brand - preloved, of course, because they are usually a bit over our budget.
- A letter from my husband reminding me about all the amazing things we did together this year, and the hard things we overcame.
- Grandparents offering to take my son for a fun day out (so I can have the day with my husband and we can get tipsy on cocktails).
- A month of yoga pass.
- A cool second hand magazine from the month and year I was born.
- A preloved vinyl record of a musician I love.
As for my 3 year old son, Max?
Here are some things I think he'd love:
- A ticket to the theatre (we went to see The Very Hungry Caterpillar and he was over the moon!). Hasn't stopped talking about it since.
- Going to a play cafe, or soft play kind of environment.
- A visit to the Peppa Pig World, Model Village, London Transport Museum - basically anywhere which is different from the park we take him to regularly. I think we could even have a picnic near an airport and watch the airplanes take off / land and he'd be soooo happy.
- A preloved balance bike.
- A disco matinee where we'd have crazy lights, music and we'd all dance together.
- A playdate with his closest friends where they'd have rainbow cake.
- Bath bombs - his face lights up every time we use one.
- A preloved toddler table and stool set.
- Going to the cinema (he's never been!).
- Any second hand toy, hiding inside the Christmas tree.
My Preloved Journey
You might wonder why the physical items I listed have been described as preloved / second hand. It hasn't been like this forever - I bought mostly new when my baby was born - and spent an absolute fortune. When he was 6 months old and I suddenly needed to buy so many more things to support his development, I started selling my baby items online and buying preloved instead.
It became ADDICTIVE: hunting around the web, finding a bargain and especially knowing that I am contributing to a world with less waste! It changed my life and has given me so much purpose. I have heard from many of our members that they feel the same. Making sustainable changes feels great, and when you see for yourself that preloved can mean 'used with love' instead of dirty, old and smelly, a whole world of possibilities opens to you (and your bank account might like it too).
Second Hand is Just as Special
In terms of wrapping your head around the idea of giving second hand gifts this Christmas, with a little effort, you can make it really memorable and inspiring: you just need to think a little bit outside the box. Here are our tips on how to present preloved items:
- Make your own packaging, out of brown paper, coloured tape, stickers and nice messages written straight onto the packaging.
- Create an environment to put the gift on. For example, if you are giving a puzzle and have no packaging, put it together on a flat surface, cover it with a scarf and put a note on top "Can you guess what's under this?".
- You could hide toys around the house and play a hunting game with clues.
- You could hide toys in the middle of the Christmas tree branches so that the kids need to find them.
- If you have some fabric / scarves you can use them to temporarily wrap gifts.
- If you have some cardboard boxes at home you can wrap the gift in tissue paper, put it in the cardboard box and tie with colourful ribbon.
Have more ideas? Please comment below!
Christmas can be a great time to try new things, there is no right or wrong if it is done with love.
I wish you a merry, creative and sustainable Christmas!
Founder of The Octopus Club
The Octopus Club is a marketplace for kind parents where you can buy, sell and donate preloved things for your baby, kids & maternity journey - from babywear to second hand toys. Sign up for FREE. Founded by Ana who created a sustainable way to give our little ones the BEST, without compromising our planet, wallet and living room.