Thursday, November 7, 2013

Day 6 of Giving that Gives Back: Christmas Clothes

It's late, but I am sneaking this one in at the wire. It's a pretty simple concept today and I didn't have time to make it all pretty. Here you go.

Let's tackle one quick and easy way you can commit to curbing your Christmas consumer footprint this year. Commit now to putting forth your very best effort not to purchase any new clothing items this Christmas. Look, I know I might have just killed a little piece of Christmas joy in some mamas' hearts. Because this is a really hard one for me too. I am a Southern girl. Fresh red baby corduroy and monograms say Christmas to me louder than any tree ever did. But let's face it, there are already enough clothes in existence in the world, maybe even in our own closets, to clothe us all for the next twenty Christmases.

And, this doesn't have to be a bore or a drain. You already know that shopping thrift or second-hand stores would be one way to tackle this challenge. And I am sure there are some people who just want to cocoon at that thought which for them equals dragging highly unmotivated and thus easily tempted children into an unorganized mess to go on a treasure hunt that may or may not yield result and will very likely end with threats to cancel Christmas altogether. I feel you, moms.

Now, there are some of us who love this kind of shopping. In the right circumstances. And are blessed that life aligns itself to those circumstances. If that is the case, by all means, girls, get your thrift on. But if it isn't the case for you, don't break out in hives yet. I have some ideas.

First, did you know you can now thrift shop online!? ThredUp gives you a fairly organized online shopping experience for high-quality retail clothing. And I have heard really good things from satisfied customers. I love this concept. You're freed from the guilt of liking the bright lights and color coordination of your favorite store better than the dinge of the thrift store and the not-so-Christmas-y fun of sifting through unorganized racks of hidden treasures with your kids not-so-compliantly in tow. Win for you. Win for the world.

And what about tapping in to your local resources and that festive fun concept we've been talking about? Why not invite your neighborhood moms, bible study or homeschooling group over for a kids' Christmas clothes swap? Or an accessory swap? How many of us buy new baubles at Christmas just because we to flash some new bling? Why not trade your old for someone else's and both feel new bran sparkly new without the guilt? If you can't imagine how you could have people in your house right now, meet up somewhere neutral for breakfast and swap.

And don't forget to take advantage of social media. Make a Christmas clothes swap page for your neighborhood and spread the word on Facebook. Create an Instagram thread of photos of clothes up for swap with a shared hashtag. Do some other cool techy thing I know nothing about. Show me up with your creativity.

If getting new clothes is hands down part of your Christmas tradition that you can't bear to change, don't sweat it. Instead, consider paying a local seamstress to make handmade clothes or purchasing from a mom's small enterprise. There are tons on Etsy and Facebook with really precious options.

More than anything, take some time to think. Clothes are some of the biggest contributor to our slavery footprints. Surely, there is at least some small habit we can change this year with the intention of consuming less. Make a choice on what it may be and plan accordingly so you don't get sucked in to the frenzy. Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. It's a little hackneyed, that phrase, but it really is the simplest way to become more intentional stewards. Let's challenge ourselves to form one new holiday clothes shopping habit that reduces our overall consumption significantly this year.

All posts in the series are linked here.


  1. I am a happy ThredUp customer! Wore my $4.50 Old Navy, practically new, jeans today! I find it way easier to shop there than at my local Salvation Army, which although is beautifully huge and pretty darn organized actually, doesn't also give me credit to be used there when I turn in my items!

  2. If one's family is big enough and live just close by, one can organize a clothes-accessories swap within one's own family. This post leads us to some considerable pondering...

  3. As one who HATES to shop, I love this advice! :)