|Guy with the free items we acquired today.|
We're nearing the last half of July and the second half of the year, and not a single one of you (except for Jenn and Gantrie) have kept me accountable for my 2011 goal??? Your mercy astounds me! Remember this post in which I said:
"I have pledged to myself that, with the exclusion of some essential items, I will do everything within my power to not purchase a single new item in 2011."
Well...I stuck with that goal pretty well for the first three months of the year, but when I realized that I was hauling home lots more stuff from my Goodwill trips than I was depositing, I decided to give thrifting a rest. We did save a good deal of money though, which helped when we suddenly had to buy a new (used) car and a new washing machine.
I found that getting lots of items free or cheap was counter-productive to my efforts to teach my children that they can't have everything. But the truth is that they live in a material world, and they can, in fact, have just about every thing ever made, even if it's second-hand.
During one particular trip to the Goodwill, I found the most amazing toys for my kids for just a few bucks. I had to stop myself when we found two barbies for 50 cents each. I recalled that my mother had to scrimp and save her money in order to buy me ONE barbie doll. I made my kids do five big jobs that day in order to earn their toys so that they would understand that nothing comes without work.
Even our amazing find today: two bats, three baseball gloves (including a lefty mitt), a batting helmet, and a huge bag of baseballs--all for FREE--is both a blessing and also just another obstacle to my goal of making sure my children value time, value work, and understand the sacrifice it takes to get STUFF.
Conscientious Moms out there...It is an uphill battle!
I guess this reality check helps me to renew my resolve to make the gifts that I give my children, because now that I have witnessed how ridiculously easy it is to get any mass-produced toy out there, I realize how precious, priceless, and rare a handmade gift really is.