You want to conserve resources, escape the Christmas rush and also save money? Then try secondhand Christmas gifts. Having a hard time with that? Then read through these nine reasons.
By our author Ulrike Seidel
1. Pre-owned gifts often have that certain something.
It may sound surprising, but second-hand gifts are often more original and personal than gifts “off the shelf”. This applies to flea market findings, clothing of certain brands, small remodeled pieces of furn,iture or even stuffed animals, for example. After all, carefully consider whether this is the right gift for the occasion.
Twenty years ago I was dreaming of an old teapot. My dad bought one at a flea market, even though he hates flea markets. It is cream-colored with red ornaments, from Villeroy & Boch. I still love it, and the most important thing about it is that it is unique with its cracks and discoloration – and that my father chose it for me.
Secondhand is active climate protection
2. You save waste and reduce emissions.
There are probably already far too many items of any kind in circulation – and not each of them finds another owner, even if it is still in good condition. But if we decide differently this time and give an object a second or third life with us, we may save it from incineration. Logically, if I want to have an object and take one that already exists in the world, there is no need to make a new one. This also saves raw materials and energy, and the working conditions in the factories in Asia become secondary to such a second-hand purchase. It is especially true for toys made of high-quality plastic: the things sometimes last for decades, and even across generations – it would be absurd to throw them away.
3. They have a history.
Objects with several stations in life have a kind of biography, which is sometimes really exciting – in the case of a work of art or an antique Native American flute probably even more interesting than in the case of a used coffee machine…
A short anecdote about this. The son of an acquaintance was once with us at the flea market. He liked a pencil portrait of a tiger, an A4 with a wooden frame. In conversation with the seller, it turned out that the tiger had once been drawn by his great-grandfather for the Dresden Zoo. The wonderful tiger now watches the nursery (and I almost got a little jealous of this wonderful treasure).
Secondhand saves a lot of money
4. They are cheap.
For many secondhand buyers, it is especially important that they can get the longed-for gifts cheaper. A knight’s castle that is “affordable”, a car racetrack without taking a small loan. The fact that there are used items often considerably cheaper, is of course a pleasant side effect. But we should not use the money saved to buy a lot more, otherwise the secondhand idea ad absurdum.
5. They sometimes have nice previous owners.
In some “deals”, for example on eBay classifieds, you negotiate directly with the “pre-owner”, a private person. Often arise from it nice Zufallschats, short meetings with new people, sometimes you even meet again. In addition, you get the same important tips for use – very convenient. That’s fun!
6. They sometimes even exist regionally.
We can try to find used gifts in our environment. That also has the advantage of saving shipping packaging, of course, and we can as well briefly look at the item or try it on.
7. They are a greeting from the past.
Some things we can only buy used because the new products no longer exist at all. They remind us of past times – and are sometimes taken with us into our new life.
My husband had ancient Puma sneakers that were almost falling apart. When I wanted to give him the same model for his birthday, I found out that these 90s cult shoes are no longer in production. However, somewhere in Germany, there were still two pairs, originals in the box, the right size. I discovered them on eBay and what was back then called Kleiderkreisel (Clothes Circle). I put the shoes in a fancy wrapping under the Christmas tree. My husband was surprised and incredibly happy – about the shoes and that I could fulfill his secret desire.
With little effort, a gift becomes a unique treasure
8. They can be turned into treasures.
When we buy used toys for our children, they should look like a treasure under the Christmas tree:
- Used building blocks or LEGO, farm animals, etc. are cleaned and placed in a treasure chest painted by yourself.
- For a pre-owned doll the grandma can knit a new dress
- The play kitchen is not new, but the doll’s dishes are. Or the handwritten recipe booklet accompanying it.
- For the used bike there is a special bell and a dream basket – new and waiting for you to unwrap it.
- The ski helmet, with which the seller has already skied two races, will be decorated with a small guardian angel.
- The old cell phone from Dad gets a cover with the nickname of the child – and a really cool charging cable. Or a desired app.
- For the book on the recipient’s favorite topic, we make a personalized cover.
9. The treasure hunter also gives gifts to himself
Special gifts also transform the one who invents them into a treasure hunter. It’s a pleasure to really take your time to think about gift-giving and the “target person” – and then look for a very special surprise instead of buying a lot or very expensive. If you give the neighbor a scion of your lucky tree (planted in a coffee can) or find on the Internet the wool that your mother-in-law has been missing for years to finish a project – that will also make you happy.