And I Like It That Way!
I'm not so much frugal as really —I'm just plain CHEAP.
Please meet Sassy.
2 years ago my then 7 year old wanted an American Girl Doll for Christmas. She couldn't understand if she was asking for it from Santa why something so expensive was a big deal? "His elves will just make it right?" Well, NO, sweetie, turns out Santa has a budget as well, especially when there are two other kids in the same family...
Well how much IS that doll then, she asked? Over $100. WOW! She said, and did some serious 6yrold soul searching.
She decided yes she still wanted THAT doll, and was there anyway she could help Santa with his budget problems? Maybe leave some money out for a portion of the doll? Maybe not ask for anything else that year? Maybe help pay for some of her siblings gifts that year? (She had a $3 allowance after all wasn't that worth SOMEthing??)
We all agreed to think it over.
Fast Forward to this past holiday season. Yes she got the doll, NO Santa did not extort the 7yrold's money.
Now the SWEET people at the American Girl Doll Usury Factory send out a lovely magazine each month that should be titled:
"Ways to Make a 7yrold Jealous and Covetous and Unhappy With the Doll She Currently Owns."
She began really hoping and asking to buy some of the 'accessories' in those magazines. A television? Are you SERIOUS?? A bed for the doll. Some other various perfectly ridiculous A.G.D. crap. We talked about the price of those DOLL accessories. And she agreed they were kind of expensive for what they were? $50 for the 'TV' ! Come ON!?
We decided that she could figure out how to make some of those things. And you know what? She WENT TO TOWN! She created a 'TV' She created a dresser with drawers, she created chairs and beds for her stuffed animals that served as 'pets' for the doll....
There was a new problem.
CLOTHES. Yes. At eight it's already started. Only. It's about the dang DOLL's clothes. Okay people I'm going to tell you something and you might have to sheild your eyes for a second. The American Doll's Clothes cost more than pretty much any outfit I've ever bought for my kid!! Heck, they cost more than most items I buy for MYSELF! And don't get me started on the matching 'clothes' you can buy for your child... um...WHAT??
And we solved it again, she began 'making' her own doll clothes. She describes how she does this in the short video below:
Christmas was coming and even though she had awesome designer fabric scraps to 'make' her doll clothes (perks of having a mama who sews!), she still really, really wanted REAL doll clothes. I'm not kidding, the least expensive 'outfit' was $34. Think about that for a second?? $34! That's half a grocery trip. Lately, one mom-van filled with gas. April's Water Bill! And poor on a budget Santa Claus is getting hit up for million dollar doll clothes?
We made it clear that the doll clothes were just too expensive. She understood. She really did. But she still secretly really wanted those fancy outfits.
Target to the rescue. I found full outfits to fit an 18inch doll. (And Please Oh Please Let Them Fit Friggin' Nikki!) Still. Those Target 18inch doll outfits were $10 a set.
She found 3 of them under her stocking Christmas Morning. Would they work, Would she know they were knock-offs, Would they even FIT? They did and she couldn't have cared less if she did know!
What bliss to watch an 8yrold love on her doll, and change her clothes and create more and more outfits and room decor and play in her room for hours on end with that doll.
She creates whole worlds for this doll. And as long as she doesn't want ANOTHER one, I like the lessons she is learning about the value and worth of her toys. Her world.