This week, I have been tempted to Buy New far more than at any other time during My Make Do and Mend Year.

And in the strangest of places and on the most unexpected of things….


We went to Legoland.


I know, all that plastic-not at all Eco, or Thrifty (although we used a cunning combination of vouchers and Tesco Clubcard points to get the best deal we could!) or remotely Make Do and Mend.
But I have Small boys. And a husband with a mild lego obsession. And I never said I was a saint.

So we went. And we had a ball. Even me.

It was brilliant. The boys LOVED it.


MPLegoland04Temptation came in the form of the shops. But not the actual lego, and the Smalls were brilliant and (hardly) whinged at all.
It was more me.
All the ‘Lego-related’ stuff is AWESOME!

I love it!

And I know that the Smalls and hubby love it too, and because of me, they can’t have it…

PicMonkey Collage legolandBigSmall is in need of a new water bottle for Pre-School at the moment, and he would have been SOOOOOO chuffed with a lego one.
With my mild addiction to stationary, a Moleskine Lego notebook would have been good.
And the Lego backpacks were quite tempting.

In fact, the whole lot was all pretty cool.

But I stayed firm.

I am torn though. I have been saying for ages that we won’t go back to buying new when the year ends, but when you see stuff like this, and you know that it would light up someone you love’s little face. It’s kind of tough.
And then it comes back to the whole thing about ‘stuff’ making us happy, and suddenly, what was a fun family day out becomes hugely deep and meaningful, and hard.

No one ever said it would be easy. I know that. And this is the most tempted I’ve been.
And for the first time I felt a bit sad about what we are doing. I know it’s all about the big picture, and that ultimately, even though it’s really cool, it is just stuff, and using up our resources and blah blah blah. But this just pulled me up short and made me think, and was completely unexpected.

To feel that you can’t or won’t give your kids (or even yourself) something that you know would give them great pleasure.

That’s pretty hard.

23 thoughts on “Temptation….

  1. I can really sympathise and I do love the design of Lego and all things related. Maybe it’s the Scandinavian design thing but I think they do things very well. (I also wonder how many budding architects begin their ‘careers’ playing with Lego as kids). My girls all play with it and I think it’s the only truly unisex toy that I have found that appeals to everyone. While it’s made of plastic it is durable so whether you bought it new, or picked up secondhand, it is built to last. I doubt the smalls would notice if you did pick some up at your next trip to charity shops. You should, however, pride yourself on the fact that the smalls didn’t really nag for anything and enjoyed the day out much more than bringinging home any souvenir to get lost in the toy box.

    • Thankyou! I have resolved that any actual lego we buy will be secondhand, but all the other cool stuff-not sure if you can get it pre-loved-will check out E-bay!
      You are right-they had the most wonderful day, and that is what they will remember 🙂

  2. It is really hard but I find the next day they have usually forgotten that they wanted anything in the first place and just have good memories of a great day out. But it is hard!

  3. Oh Jen! I’m sorry you felt like this. We went to Legoland a few years ago when it was just the 3 of us and money was very tight. We combined club card vouchers, early bird deals for a travelodge etc to stay for 2 days (well it was our family holiday for that year!) and I also found it very hard saying no at the shops.

    A small treat now and again after your year is over is not going to make a *major* difference to the world. So don’t stress too much over it. Yes the Smalls would have loved some of the things from the shop but I bet their little faces lit up just as much from just being there at the park for the day. You created happy memories for them this week. Going to the park is what they will remember in years to come, not what you bought or didn’t buy.

    Stay strong xx

    • Thanks Nicola. Their little faces did indeed light up-it was great. We will definitely be going back when we have some more vouchers..!

  4. Don’t beat yourself up Jen, you and hubby gave your boys a great day out….and you will soon find a bag of pre-loved Lego to treat the boys to. They will be so excited with a prezzie, they won’t even remember all the new stuff they saw!

    • Thanks Sue. I think it’s just one of the few times I have felt that I REALLY wanted something. And something it would be very hard to source secondhand (not lego itself, but all the cool lego things!) The Smalls are fine with it-it is me that is struggling..!

  5. Why not start a Christmas “wish list” for all those things you have not bought new since starting make do & mend year … by then you will know if you really can’t live without the moleskine,etc. Limit lists to a set number of items or money value each person so you can only have say 3 items or £30 worth, If you have found them pre-loved in the meantime then cross them off your list. It so hard for you with the smalls as xmas is just too far off for them to grasp but its worth a try… good luck x

  6. I think when your goal is to have a better impact on the environment and ensure your children don’t turn out to be mass consumerist like most of the current world then after your year I would think a few times when new is ok. Like birthdays or christmas, although I now have a rule that I don’t buy objects for family I buy experiences, ie tickets to something or archery lessons etc, or even say each person is allowed 5 ‘new items’ a year or whatever you feel comfortable with, you will still be having a massive impact on the environment with your ethos and the little ones will appreciate their new items so much more and probably treasure them longer, and no doubt they will go on to be pre loved by others, PS Lego Rocks.

  7. We bought legoland passes with Tesco vouchers (we live a short journey away) a year ago. I just didn’t go into the shop each time – the lego merchandise is cool but also very expensive and you have to wonder where it is actually made! I reckon your boys won’t even remember the stuff in shop, compared to the great day out they had. Take it easy on yourself. x

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  9. With my own two lego addicts I know exactly what you mean. They adore it and always want it for Christmas and birthdays. I managed to find a huge bag in a local charity shop once, it was worth every penny and actually encourages them to use their imaginations rather than building a prescribed item which only gets broken up as soon as it’s built. Well done you for resisting temptation. X

  10. Wow. I have to say I admire you for not giving in and buying. I usually don’t succeed, but that is why I take my husband to these places with me. He is the strong one. So, I really admire your ability to stand strong. I know how tough it is to not buy something for the kids that they want, but as it happens more often than not when you do buy, it ends up being thrown in the corner after a very short time. It the enjoyment of the day that counts, not the gift shop! 🙂

    • You are so right. They haven’t even mentioned it, and didn’t even really ask me to get them anything, it was more me that struggled!

  11. My first thought too was ‘buy used!’ In my small town, one of the mom and pop shops is a Lego store. My son loves to spend his own money there! It’s nice to be able to support a small when buying new toys, but that just makes it easier to justify buying new. Complicated.

  12. I can so sympathise with you and I know I would probably have given in to my inner Lego nerd, so well done that you didn’t! After the year….. well, a moleskine is always useful as long as you use it, and as long as the merchandise is the same quality as Lego (indestructible, except of you try really hard) then it would probably be an investment not a waste of money…… but only if it was good value and not excess. Life is so complicated sometimes!

    • Lego rocks!
      I think at the end of the year, any new purchases will be strictly vetted for quality over quantity, and I reckon Lego would pass the test!

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