As the holidays approach, most people are hurriedly emptying their wallets looking for the perfect gift. There's so much pressure to find the latest, newest, trendiest item, and give our friends and family a present they'll remember for years to come. However, while you're running from mall store to mall store, you might want to consider a different option - thrifting for a holiday gift. Doing so guarantees you'll find something unique, even possibly one-of-kind. It's also a great way to let your recipient know you put in extra effort to give them a memorable present.
There are a couple of ways to approach thrifting for a gift. The most important thing, however, is to know your recipient. There are some people who just aren't going to embrace receiving something from a thrift store, no matter what it is. They are much more comfortable with a new item, packaged and returnable. Obviously, a thrifted gift is going to be unsuitable for them, so it's better to leave them off your thrift score list.
One way to look at holiday thrifting is to use thrift store finds to supplement other gifts. For example, cookbooks found in a thrift store can be packaged with a new cookware set from a department store. If you have a friend who enjoys cooking, a season thrifted cast iron skillet would pair wonderfully with gourmet flavored oils and utensils. For the jewelry lover, a vintage pair of earrings or pin combined with a gift card to a boutique makes an unusual, memorable gift.
Another approach is to repurpose thrifted items to create something new. My local Goodwill is overloaded with fabric, and a skilled sewer could utilize it for curtains, sewing and crafts. Old frames could be sanded down and painted; sweaters mended; lamp bases and shades repainted and repaired; and furniture can be refinished.
Of course, there are great finds to be discovered at thrift stores if you're looking for a ready-to-go gift.
- Records: most thrift stores are loaded with crates of records, ranging for classical to holiday music to pop. If you have a music lover in your life, thrifting for records is a surefire way to thrill them.
- Glassware: Packaged beautifully, vases, wine and champagne glasses make pretty gifts. Collectors might also appreciate shot glasses.
- Books: I can't think of a better source for books than thrift stores. Hardcover and paperbacks are typically priced anywhere from fifty cents to two dollars. From cookbooks to religious volumes to best selling fiction, it's all there.
- Holiday decor: Looking for ornaments, dishware and mugs, and decorative items? Thrift stores are overwhelmed with these items at this time of the year.
- Accessories: I've had great luck finding authentic vintage Coach bags at thrift stores. Charity-based stores, such as St. Vincent De Paul, occasionally carry designer jewelry such as Michael Kors and Fossil watches, along with purses, scarves, belts and wallets.
Have you ever thrifted a holiday gift? D you have any ideas for thrift store finds that would make for great presents? Share in the comments!