My husband's 30th birthday was just this past Friday and we had a great time celebrating. However, I realized quickly after thinking of what I could get him for his birthday, that whatever I bought him would also have to come under the category of used.
Now most of the time it is not quite acceptable to give someone a used gift. I have always kept the tag attached to the gifts I've given (with the pricetag removed), so that if there was ever a doubt as to if the item was used, it would quickly be dispelled. So buying a used gift, even for my husband seemed a bit odd. I also didn't have much time, so I was a bit nervous that I would end up just buying him junk in place of a real gift. However, after thinking of the possibilities of what I might find, I got excited and headed with Ruth to the local thrift shop.
While we were driving to the shop I thought how it might be nice if I found a nice mug for Ian. He really likes coffee and we have only a few mugs, after selling most of ours prior to our move. I also thought, "wouldn't it be great if they had some sort of dad themed mug that Ruth could give him?" Although I knew that at second hand shops it is normally luck of the draw what you end up with, I still had hope.
As fate would have it, they did have a mug and wouldn't you know it was perfect! The mug was white with colorful lettering that said "world's greatest dad!" I picked it up right away and was really excited to see that it was only 50 cents! I do have to say, it was a bit odd picking up a mug that had originally been bought for another dad. However, it really is true, Ian is a wonderful dad!
Next, I looked at the sport coats. Ian has one that he wears quite frequently at school and has mentioned it would be nice to have a few more. There were some nice looking ones, however they were all X-L and certainly would not do. So, I kept looking around.
I soon came to the game isle and found two things that I thought would be great for Ian. One was an old Monopoly game. The box was a bit haggard, to say the least, but all of the pieces were there and it would still provide a fun night with friends or just the two of us. Then I found a plastic zip-lock bag which held 3 wooden peg games, along with the pegs and a pair of dice. Looking at this zip-lock bag I smiled thinking of Ian playing these games, trying to become the master of these simple, yet difficult to conquer games. One of them, which was shaped like a triangle and reminded me the most of the ones you see at Cracker Barrel, was called Bible I.Q. game and each peg had a bible verse written underneath it. I thought "what a great gadget for an Old Testament professor's desk!"
I also picked up a bundle of colored pencils, held together by by a rubber band, that were in quite good condition. They would be a necessary tool to make Ian's birthday card, since neither could I buy him a card, nor did I have any of my old art supplies (also sold in our move).
I headed to the counter happy with what I had found and sure Ian would enjoy the gifts. The cashier was busy with a lady looking at watches, so I looked around from the counter. Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted a silver pot on a metal frame. I knew right off the bat it was a fondue pot, something I was sure Ian would love. I walked over to have a better look and was surprised to note that it was also in very good shape. So, without hesitating, I picked it up and added it to my pile.
When everything had been rung up, the lady said "$7.10 is your total." I liked that, but also liked what I had gotten. For me, it was the best of both worlds.
When I got home, I wrapped Ian's gifts with birthday wrapping paper I had at the house and put some in used gift bags left over from Ruth's baby showers. Some of the tissue paper I found was pink, and the two bags I found were green and yellow. I even found yellow ribbon, which added a nice touch.
Ian and I ended up having a great time on his birthday and I think he enjoyed opening his gifts, which were probably more than he had received on his birthday in a long time. Our friends watched Ruth and we had a nice dinner out. Then we came back and enjoyed a very delicious chocolate fondue with bananas and strawberries.
I'd have to say, buying used for my husband's birthday was a success. Now I just have to see how I am going to swing it for two upcoming baby showers and two weddings. :)