This year I only spent 48.00 on new Christmas gifts. I have 3 children and a niece to shop for- 4 kids total. If you include my niece’s mother, my children’s step-cousin, and my brother that is 7 people to buy for. So how did I only spend 48.00 on new items?
First of all the garage was packed with 8 non-working bikes that needed inner-tubes and tires. I spent 15.00 on inner tubes and found a bike out in front of the dollar theater that provided new tires. It took 2 hours to repair the bikes- so 3 of the kids have bikes again. I bought a new monopoly board game for 7.00- we played it for an hour last night and are starting another game once I finish my coffee and blogging ( while watching Washington Journal).
A new Slip N Slide and kiddie pool for the 6 year olds- 25.00 total. 48.00 new items from Walmart -yes Walmart is freaking evil but I couldn’t find the dang slip n slide anywhere else and my carbon footprint looking would have been as high as the cost of utilizing Walmart to purchase items that will enable the kids to use bike transport to school and for play without relying on rides. Walmart total- 48.00 and tax.
At Plato’s Closet I bought 14.00 worth of gently used wallets and new earrings for my ex-sister in law and my step niece. At Once Upon a Child I found a vintage boxed barbie for 8.50 and a barbie wardrobe for 7.50- my niece was taken care of. My daughter Violet has autism and LIVES for toys that play music and encourage imitation of adults her little tea set and toy tablet were a total of 9.00. An adorable LaLaloopsy rocking horse and doll were 12.00. Gently used clothes for all the kids cost 45.00- these included leggings, t-shirts and brand new Quiksilver and Hurley shirts for my sons. Total- 134.78 on gently used toys and clothes.
All other items were obtained from Craigslist and a Christmas party raffle win. Items- 2 DS games, a skateboard, telescope, etch a sketch book, 2 puzzles, a 25.00 Olive Garden gift card, and a helmet- Total cost- 40.00- 25.00 for the raffle basket ticket and 15.00 for the DS games.
Did the kids want more “stuff”? I am sure they did but the money we saved from not over consuming is going towards a trip to Universal next week ( annual passes cost me 22.00 a month), we have gone to the dollar movies twice, gone out to eat with the Olive Garden card and spent time together assembling the puzzles and playing Monopoly. This week we are going to Barnes and Noble to have quiet reading time ( and sharing 2 brownies and a hot cocoa- total cost 8.00). I explained that I can spend all my money on more “TOYS” or we can have fun over the winter break. They chose fun. Or maybe I chose for them- either way as a society we all will need to figure out a way to consume less and think about how to have fun. The earth’s resources are FINITE and I for one am sick of thinking how our consumerism is killing the planet and how a 14.96 plastic toy costs the earth at least 100.00 between the amount of energy needed to produce and transport the item, the depletion of resources.
If we want to change America it does not mean that do not like America- it means that we examine consumption and learn to begin living a more sustainable lifestyle.