Advice From JGT: A Thrift Store Christmas

thriftIt’s not often that I offer advice, because, quite frankly, if you find yourself taking advice from a 34 year old quizmaster, you probably have some major issues. But I’m going to offer you advice this holiday season, and you’ll thank me for it later. Last Christmas, my family decided that we were tired of trying to find the “perfect gift” for everyone, fighting through huge crowds, dealing with the stress of making sure that the gift you gave was same price bracket as what they got you, etc. So instead we decided to make it a thrift store Christmas. It was so unbelievably awesome that I doubt we ever go back. The deal was this: You could either purchase your gifts at a thrift store or make a gift. Here is why is makes Christmas so much better:

There are no crowds. You want to do some relaxing shopping during the holiday season? Visit a thrift store. Everybody is so convinced that they need to get everyone something still in the plastic that nobody shops at thrift stores the week before Christmas. Instead of long lines and cranky cashiers who have been dealing with thousands of people all day, you have a bunch of people who are more than happy to help the few people in the store.

Good for the environment. You know the old motto, Reduce-Reuse-Recycle. When you shop at a thrift store, you’re doing all three. When you buy new gifts, you’re doing none. 

Usually spending money for a good cause. Most thrift stores donate a large portion of their proceeds toward charity. Wal-Mart donates their proceeds toward crushing the opposition. 

Save money. This one is a no-brainer. Second half stuff obviously costs a lot less. Oftentimes the gifts are still in the original package but was never used. That’s how I scored a brand new juicer for $8 last year. 

Better gifts. I’ll be honest, the gifts I got last year were the coolest and most fun gifts I’ve gotten since I was a kid. Books, board games, clothes, a juicer, and plenty of gag gifts. Much cooler than a gift card from Barnes and Noble. 

Less stress. You spent $30 on gifts and your sister-in-law spent $20. Who cares? And really, who knows? The price on things costs different things at different thrift stores, so it’s impossible to tell who spent more on who, leading to no embarrassment when you buy your sister in law a $400 LCD TV and she buys you a new tie. 

Since we were also allowed to make something, I made a few family videos out of old family photos. And don’t worry, my little niece still got plenty of new toys. It was just the big kids who exchanged slightly used merchandise. And had the best Christmas we’ve had in probably 20 years.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *