Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Best Birthday Present Ever!

The first thing the blond twin said this morning when she woke up was, "Mom, you gave me the best birthday present ever."  I smiled because she was so happy and because there's a good back story for the present. 

A little more than a year ago, a girlfriend called with a couple of amazing garage sale finds.  She found two different Barbie play sets at amazing prices.  Both are huge, with multiple parts creating many, different configurations.  I couldn't believe a child ever played with either set because they were prefect.

She gave the girls the first set and they just went crazy with it.  They played with it constantly.

I kept the second set in the basement.  It was too big to give the girls "just because."  I kept waiting for a special ocassion like graduating from preschool or learning to ride bikes without training wheels.  Of course, when those things happened, they didn't seem to merit a present.  Who wants to set that precedent?

So, the second play set sat in the basement.  Every time I went downstairs I thought about just opening it and putting it out, but never did it. 

The past fews weeks have been crazy.  Obviously we knew the girls' birthday was coming up, but we never figured out a good birthday present.  We talked about all kinds of options, and then put those ideas on the family birthday/Christmas list.

Then, last week I emailed my husband and said, "Hey, what do you think about giving the girls the Barbie play set for their birthday?  I think they'd love it."  He liked the idea for lots of reasons.  First, they would like it.  Second, it was already in the house and we didn't have to shop for anything.

I felt a little strange giving them a garage sale birthday present, but last week was too busy to think about it much.  Instead, we wrapped it and left it in the basement until their birthday.

Right now the girls are playing with the dolls and discovering all the hidden secrets of the play set.  They are happy as can be.

Me?  I learned a valuable lesson.  Always say "yes" when a girlfriend calls with a great garage sale find.


Rachel said...

Just remember that kids don't care where those cool toys come from.

Great story. Now if I could just find a treasure like that at a garage sale for my kiddos.

Happy Birthday twins!

Julie K said...

Garage Sales Rock! It's recycling at it's best.

I think my son has gotten a garage sale/resale shop toy (or two or more) every Christmas and birthday since he's been born. My husband has stopped giving me grief about it (it felt strange to him early on). Tissue paper and a gift bag make it like new!

Even when they are not in pristine shape or don't have all the pieces, those toys can still be loads (and hours) of fun when combined with other toys. My son was once given a Little People pirate ship for free at a garage sale(the women just wanted to get it out of her house - we didn't get any of the loose parts or people) and he's gotten more play out of that than many of his 'new' expensive toys. It's one he comes back to again and again. We added a crows nest (a yogurt cup and duck tape) and I had to make a sail and draw a Jolly Roger on it. He uses it with the Pirates of the Carribean charaters that he got at McDonalds. We recently added a trap door (cardboard and duck tape)... he likes when we 'fix' the toy and make it better.