A couple of weeks ago, after my sister found a stash of my old toys at her house, I presented Josephine with four of my old My Little Pony's. I loved these when I was little, even having a My Little Pony part for my second birthday (and then again for my 21st family party, complete with decorations my Mum sourced in the US). The look on Josephine's face when she found them was priceless, and made me so happy that I kept them.
After seeing Phiney's excitement, I was reminded of two brand new boxed ponies that my Grandparents gave me at said 21st birthday that sat on my shelf at uni for a while. I never opened them (despite being so tempted to brush their hair!) and realised that they would make wonderful additions to Josephine's Christmas stocking. I read an article in American Vogue a few years ago all about the idea of re-gifting items at Christmas, whether they be unwanted (but wonderful) presents you've allocated to the bottom drawer, or much-loved pieces you want to pass on to the next generation. Apparently it's becoming more and more popular in even the most upper-circles of American society and I can see why. Not only is it a great budget-busting and green alternative to the mass-consumerism of Christmas, but it ensures a treasured item. My Grandma is awesome at re-gifting and for my birthday she gave me one of her beautiful antique platters. Of course, it helps that her house is like the best antique shop in the world; my Mum, sister and I spend hours when we're there pointing out what we'd happily take home, much to my Grandma's delight.
This year, it may just be some My Little Pony's, but as the years pass I would love to pass on vintage handbags, antique crockery, precious jewellery and favourite books to our children.
And the rest of Josephine's stocking? We've kept to last year's promise of buying just a few select, but wonderful things. Originally working to the Want, Need, Wear, Read idea, then adding a few choice additions and subtracting something to wear, because she just doesn't need anything. They will sit alongside something for her to read (a Moomin number book), something she needs (a little Moomin lunchbox...yes, I got carried away in the Moomin shop, but this girl loves Little My right now) something she wants (a tiny wooden sword from the RSC shop in Stratford for our little Shakespearean) something Mama-made (a plum coloured net tutu for the dressing up box and new hair bow) and something second-hand (a fantastic French board game found at the charity shop).
I love the idea of something Mama/Papa made always appearing under the tree at Christmas and Josephine appreciating the treasure in finding the perfect secondhand/vintage item too. The final gift will be the sweetest writing set, decorated with beautiful illustrations of wild animals and plants. Each year my sister and I would always get a new writing set, and with Josephine writing letters to Great-Grandparents and penpals across the world, this is the perfect tradition to pass on to our children too.
Will you be re-gifting this year, or plan to pass on treasured heirlooms?