|Thrifting for gifts? It can be done!|
It'a hard to believe that Christmas day is but a few short weeks away. The malls are packed. Big-box retailers are at maximum capacity. Even supermarket traffic is getting quite congested. And it's no surprise. Holiday shopping is big business.
It was once believed that there were two types of Christmas shoppers:
- The Early Shoppers: Those who buy way ahead of time, or slowly but surely build their gift pile until the big day.
- The Frantic Last-Minute Shoppers: Those who take every last cent and every last ounce of energy to cramped malls in hopes of magically finding everything they need just before they need it.
But I'm willing to throw one more type of holiday shopper on the list. And that type is the Thrift Gifter, a frugal and creative shopper who sees gift-giving potential in secondhand finds.
It can certainly be a hot topic among the thrift shopping community, but I dare argue that Thrift-Gifting is not only acceptable, but is something to be encouraged.
And this unique secondhand opportunity is something to especially consider for those friends and family members who, like you, long for quality vintage wares, are hip to being environmentally conscious, or are just appreciative of a gift made more special by being hand-picked in a stroke of secondhand luck instead of mass produced.
|Don't look a thrifted gift horse in the mouth.|
To thrift-gift a secondhand find is to truly know someone---that person's taste in movies, music, personal style, home decor, interests and passions. It says, "Hey, I saw this... I immediately thought of you."
Naturally, before you get started you may have some hesitations, some questions. And that's okay. After all, you've been taught how---and what to buy---your whole life. But just consider the possibilities. And to get you started, I've developed a few how-to's for a beginning thrift-gifter.
A Handy Guide To Finding The Perfect Thrift Gift
- If you're hitting the thrift store solely because you cannot afford to give a brand new gift...you may run into some obstacles. Namely, desperation. Sometimes you find something truly special. Sometimes you don't. That's the nature of the thrift. If financial straits have you panicked prior to even going to Goodwill, you may want to postpone gift-exchanges until a time better suited to your needs. Have a post-Christmas gift exchange gathering. You'll have some piece of mind and your wallet will thank you.
- If you're thrifting for gift-giving inspiration and ideas, have fun. Look around, but don't be pressured into buying something just because it's there.
- Don't forget that candies and homemade baked goods are a hit. If all else fails, grab a lovely holiday tin and use that to gift your culinary creations. Or maybe a holiday mug filled with candy, wrapped in cellophane and ribbon. This might be the one instance where you'll want to think inside the box---as in, look how pretty this tin/bin/basket/box is...what can I fill it with?
- Go early and go often. You'll up your chances of finding that special something.
- Be sure to check and re-check the quality of any item you may be considering, even more carefully than an item you would buy for yourself. Look for chips/cracks/imperfections in pottery and ceramics. Check all seams and zippers on garments. Give bags and purses the sniff check. (There's nothing worse that a lovely leather satchel...that reeks of decade's old cigarettes).
- Trust your gut. If you see something and immediately think that so-and-so would loooooove it, put in your cart for thorough inspection.
- And if you're as avid a thrift shopper as I am, you know my mantra. A gift card to my favorite thrift store(s) is better than cash, because it's the gift that literally could be anything. It's like an invitation to a treasure hunt. And I'll be digging for that buried treasure.
And if you're looking for specific ideas on things you may find at the thrift store...how about ugly Christmas sweaters, so-bad-it's-good framed artwork, a vase (that you can fill with fresh flowers), unique costume jewelry, a casserole dish/platter to bring a home-cooked addition to the holiday feast, and vintage-vintage-vintage. High quality vintage anything....it's nostalgic! (Well, maybe not anything...but you get where I'm going with this).
So... have I convinced you? Are you sold on the idea of Thrift-Gifting? I'd love to know.