A Recycled Christmas

Friday, November 26, 2010

Christmas; it isn't called 'The Silly Season' for nothing. We, as consumers, are encouraged to spend our earnings new things for our family and friends, which can really get out of control.

Image c/o we heart it

There is nothing wrong with spoiling our nearest and dearest, but instead of buying new, have you given a thought to seeking out second-hand gifts?!

Second-hand purchases from op shops, markets, even garage sales, can be the way to go toward a greener, more sustainable Christmas. Not only that, but second-hand shopping is so much friendlier to our bank account balances too.

Op shopping and Christmas may conjure up images of Mr Darcy in Bridget Jones sporting that delightful Christmas jumper:

But there are more appropriate second-hand gifts you could buy. Here are some ideas:

1. Scarves

Choosing brand new clothes for our loved ones is hard enough, therefore trying to buy second-hand clothing may be very challenging. Finding a simple scarf for a gift shouldn't be too hard. Thrifters in the Northern Hemisphere can choose knits to keep warm in the cold months, whereas here in the Southern Hemisphere we experience warmer temperatures, therefore a thinner silk scarf may be more appropriate. A simple scarf can brighten up any outfit.

Photograph c/o we heart it

2. Mens Neckties

Mens neckties are a common choice of Christmas gift for an office-working gent. Instead of buying a new necktie this Christmas, why not check out second-hand neckties. Look carefully and you may well find silk Armani ties in amongst the cartoon character polyesters in thrift shops.

3. Picture Frames

Picture frames in charitable shops are often found with the household goods, or sometimes tucked away in a box on the floor of the shop somewhere. Print a family portrait, a photograph of yourself, your child, or your dog if you like, frame it, and there you have a simple but personal Christmas gift.

Photograph c/o we heart it

4. Tea cups

Your grandmother, mother or your friends might love a cup of tea, so what about a nice pretty vintage tea cup and saucer, that you could perhaps pack into a nicely wrapped box. A simple purchase, because you are quite likely to find cups and saucers in opportunity shops.

5. Books

Books are in abundance in second-hand shops, most of them in fantastic condition having been read once and donated. Books are not limited to fiction, you could find a nice cook book as a gift, or maybe a Lonley Planet guide for a traveller?

Photograph c/o we heart it

Get into your local op shop and see what you can find, or you come and join me on the last Melbourne Op Shop Tour of the year on Saturday 11th December, and do your Christmas shopping the sustainable way!

If you would like to sign up to Melbourne Op Shop Tours newsletter to find out about up and coming tours for 2011, you can do so here.


NessaKnits said...

With three siblings and 12 nieces and nephews, we have decided to limit our Christmas spending to a Chris Cringle with each of the siblings drawing another's family and spending $50 on giving the family a gift as a whole. I have my brother and sister-in-law and she loves to read and I am seriously considering giving her a pile of books from a 2nd hand shop as part of her family’s gift!

Unknown said...

Chris Cringles are common these days arent they. I'd not even heard of it till I moved to Australia! Sounds like a great idea to give your sister-in-law a pile of books from a second hand shop!

Something Else said...

Nice. I try to go for;
1) Handmade - either by me or if time is short, someone else - little clothes for friends' kids, bags, cami tops, dresses...whatever.
2) Secondhand - it depends on the person, I think - some people are really open to it, but others...hm. I have given a lot of vintage kimono to my mates - they feel so glam when you swan around the house in them.
3) Use-able - er - things that are going to get used up, rather than sitting around the house gathering dust. For example, although it sounds a bit lame, Mr O loves a Lindt chocky that is not available in Japan, so when friends go home, I ask them to bring it back. Or some really nice wine or some eco-friendly potions and lotions.
4) Eco-friendly - although secondhand probably beats new, things like toys made from sustainable forests etc. are nice gifts
5) Experiences - dinner at a very fancy restaurant or a massage - things that don't actually....exist. Saves on stuff.

Unknown said...

That some really great ideas elseseven, thanks for commenting. Experiences are a good idea - a voucher for something worthwhile and memorable.

I also agree that handmade is the way to go too

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