Of course there has to be Parts One and Two if I’m writing about Christmas in a second-hand style!
For this post I thought I would concentrate on the non-present side of Christmas, ie all the trimmings. My festive budget never seems to stretch to buying new baubles, tablecloths or Santa shaped plates. For the past few years we have been acquiring, and mending, pre-loved decorations, wrapping and other accessories instead.
Our Christmas Tree was bought from a local second-hand market a couple of years ago. I’m not sure the previous owners even used it but it has been perfect for us and even has its own integral lights. I know there are lots of pros and cons about buying real trees as opposed to the resources used to create artificial ones. I like to think that buying a second-hand tree has a slightly smaller carbon footprint. Of course the best thing would be to re-use the same real tree every year, or even hire one.
Having run a Repair Cafe last December and highlighted the fact that 500 tonnes of Christmas lights are thrown away each year(!), I have tried really hard to mend ours. This is a job that is easier said than done as you have to find the right replacement bulbs and then work through all the colours to find the faulty one. I have had mixed results doing this.
Our other Christmas decorations tend to be ones made by the children, or ones that I have made myself such as this free printable poster (similar one can be found here). Every year I change the pictures in our photo frames and replace them with some festive themed images. It’s only a little thing (and we don’t have much space for big things) but it adds a nice festive touch.
Other festive touches include these rather cheesey second-hand mugs. I bought them last year when we had a Christmas party and I was serving soup. I didn’t want to use disposable mugs and these cups were bought very cheaply from charity shops:
We also have a lovely collection of second-hand Christmas/Winter books that I have bought for the girls in previous years. All are from charity shops and were in good enough condition to give as presents. We now store them away with the Christmas decorations and it’s nice to bring them out once a year to re-read:
When it comes to wrapping and labelling every year we re-use our old Christmas cards to make gift tags:
I have bought one roll of Christmas paper but, having ordered a few Amazon packages, I’ve been ironing and re-using the brown paper that comes with it. I plan to brighten up some of the girls’ presents with some free printable ‘stamps’ I found here.
What second-hand decorations and Christmas trimmings are you using this year?