And She Lived…

{October 10, 2008}   Christmas Swap

It’s time for another budget Christmas tip. Chel made a wonderful suggestion in the comments of my last post. I absolutely loved the idea so I though I would share it here.

“One thing some friends and I have already agreed to do is a Swap Christmas. This year, instead of buying gifts, we’re shopping our houses for books we’ve already read or CDs already downloaded onto iTunes or cool bags we don’t carry any longer. We’re swapping stuff we already loved for stuff our friends already loved. We’re sure to get great stuff without spending more than postage, and we’re recycling, too. ”

Isn’t that a terrific idea? I love it so much that I thought of a few other ways you could put this idea to use. How about shopping at your friends houses? Okay, that sounds a bit weird but hear me out on this one. Not only can you and your friends exchange previously used and loved items as gifts for each other, but also for your family members. How about a toy swap? Maybe some of your friends have kids that are a bit younger than your own. You could offer up some toys that your children have outgrown. I know my kids have had plenty of toys that they just lost interest in. No sense in keeping them sitting around the house taking up room. Put them in a toy swap with your friends. The same idea can be used with children’s clothing.

I can picture this as a totally fun mom’s night out event. Talk to your friends about the idea of doing a Christmas shopping swap. Offer up your home for one evening as a meeting place. Get your husband to take the kids out for the evening. Have all your friends come over and enjoy the company. Each person could even bring a snack. How about having a bottle of wine? Make it a fun evening for you and your friends to get together, chat, have some fun AND get some Christmas shopping done for NO MONEY.

Maybe the next week someone else could offer to host a swap at their house. If you got together each week from now until Christmas you could get a lot of presents off your list and have a lot of fun and companionship (is that a real word?) in the process. I SO LOVE this idea!

Each swap could feature different items. Here are some suggestions:


Children’s clothing




Men’s items (sports equipment or collectibles, guy flicks, whatever you husband’s might be into)




Thanks Chel for the great idea!!!


Sheila says:

I really liked this idea, however when I presented it to my siblings, they were less interested than me. I even mentioned we could include hand-made items since many of us are so crafty… Maybe next year…

Chel says:

I’m so excited that you liked my idea! Go, me. 🙂

We get around that with siblings by only doing presents for the kids. Now, to be perfectly honest, I’d rather skip the kids and do the grown-ups, but no one listens to me. 🙂

You’ll laugh at this, but I’ve got this whole Holiday Plan that I post every year. I have a plan for cards, presents, traditions, you name it. I’m such an org freak and a holiday junkie.

I’ve done this informally with my friends just during the year. We’ve swapped baby items, toys and clothes. I love that the kids can get a chance to play with ‘new’ stuff and then we don’t have it all sitting around after they get tired of it. 🙂

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