Hand-me-down shoes from my sister this summer.

I’m the youngest of 5 kids. I have 3 older sisters and an older brother. Growing up, I always got hand-me-downs.  Now that I’m older, I still get hand-me-downs. I love hand-me-downs.  Sometimes, they look brand new! Free clothes! What’s not to love!

But why does it feel like every lifestyle blog out there has kids with cool and trendy clothes; meaning, I don’t think these kids have hand-me-downs. (They may not even know what “hand-me-downs” are.) 

Well, I could be totally wrong, but I’m so glad my kids don’t care what they wear. I’m so glad they think it’s cool to receive free or cheap second-hand clothes.  They love going to thrift stores with me back in the States. And here in Madrid, when other expats leave, they give us leftover clothes they don’t want to bring back to the States.  With four kids, I’ll take whatever and the kids love it.  Don’t get me wrong, they love new clothes as well; but it’s all the same to them.

Because hopefully, this is what they’re learning:

  1. Be thrifty (but not cheap).
  2. Put the correct value on things.
  3. Appreciate what you have.
  4. Be careful with your money (but don’t be stingy).
  5. Know that you are not your clothes.
  6. Don’t judge others by what they may or may not wear.
  7. Give generously.
  8. Receive gratefully as well.
  9. Don’t be wasteful.
  10. Share whenever possible.

I think having hand-me-downs is teaching them these things.  And so, in the same way, when they’ve outgrown their clothes, they’re ready to say, “Who can we give this to?”  Hopefully, then, we are not only sharing our clothes with another family, but also sharing the lessons that we’re learning as well.

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