Thrift Gifts – What To Give and What Not To Give.

The holidays are upon us and for some people that pesky recession is still in full effect. Whether you have the means or not, most folks are probably going to be conscious of their spending this holiday season – or until the economy completely “recovers”. With that said Jess and I have been working on a post to divulge the best thriftable holiday gifts to give. Jess sums it up best below:

So here we are at another holiday crossroads. I know for me Christmas lost its sentiment a few years ago. Reason being, time and money. The idea of dedicating my weekends driving around to different malls or shops searching for the perfect gift seems torturous. Especially since holiday shopping has turned into the latest extreme sport. The obvious answer… thrifting for holiday gifts.

MAKE A LIST, CHECK IT TWICE: Before you start you may want to make a list of the people you are shopping for to ensure no one is left out. Even Santa has a list. Plus, last minute holiday shopping is no bueno.

PLAN YOUR ROUTE, ALLOW FOR SURPRISES: If you’re like me you’ll want to get it all done in one day. Google maps is the best way to map out an attack strategy. Simply pick your general destination and search for thrift stores. Even if you have a regular set route, you may discover another store not too far out of the way.

HUNT IN THE DOWNTIMES: Obviously weekends are going to be a circus. If you are lucky enough to dedicate a weekday, don’t think twice, just do it. If you’re really feeling adventurous, make a day trip out of it and drive into the unknown countryside. Just make sure you call beforehand to assure the locations are open.

HIT EM WITH THE WARM & FUZZY: Which brings us to what to get. Thrift store holiday shopping is a bit of a challenge for one reason. You don’t want to give people junk. Put your gift ideas into perspective for the individual recipient. You don’t want to be like my uncle Dan, who notoriously dishes out useless crap at Christmas, such as “used flash lights” and “marine biology periodicals.”

These are our top thrift store holiday gift ideas:

T-Shirts & Cardigans. I fall back on thrift store t shirts for many occasions. The more funny and random the better. Try to find shirts that are a poly-cotton blend. They are the most comfortable.

Mexican Woven Blankets. They are vibrant and warm. Just make sure it’s in good condition, no stains.

Needle Point package. There are some pretty rad needle point patterns out there. You can choose to either give the gift away in the package for your crafty friends, or do the work yourself and frame it. You can find some really neat vintage ones on Etsy too.

Books. These are usually pretty easy to come by if you know the person’s literature preferences well enough. Any book you can usually find in a used book store or a Half Price Books – you can usually find it eventually in a thrift store, for half the used price.

Mugs. The funny and ironic, the ones with states, countries or kittens on them are always a safe bet.

Vintage Decanters. With a recent spike in interest from shows like Mad Men and Wine Library.TV I’ve started noticing that thrift stores are brimming with vintage decanters. Some of them are truly unique and beautiful. They can be used for red wine(s), and/or any hard liquor. Classy.

Board games. This is a new favorite of mine. I love hunting for a particular board game and then eventually finding it all in tact. Some recent favorites of mine are Apples to Apples, and Rummikub. These also provide a post-meal/post-present opening fun time with your family. NOTE: Heavy drinking makes any board game that much more fun with family…

That should be quite enough to encourage you all to get out there and get thrifting for some of your gifts this year. Time is running out! We’d also like to know what you all think would make a great thrift gift. Comment or email in. Have you ever given or received a thrifted gift? MERRY THRIFTSMAS TO ALL.

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2 responses to “Thrift Gifts – What To Give and What Not To Give.

  1. I thrifted all my gifts this year… fun mugs for my co-workers (that I filled with cocoa packets and marshmallows), vintage sewing items and salt & pepper shakers for my mom (who collects both) and ’50s housewares for my best friend. I always pick up used books as gifts too all year-round. 🙂

  2. I’ve always wanted to thrift “serious” holiday gifts for my friends and family but could never really pluck up the courage to do so. These are great ideas for gifts and I especially love Leilani’s idea of combining thrifted items with new ones. Similar to the cocoa/mug combination, you could gift the vintage decanters with a bottle of liquor. Also, for musically savvy friends, thrift stores offer many band t-shirts from “old” or “underground” bands which can be combined with new CDs or concert tickets. Either way the recipient will always think you paid more for their gift than you actually did!

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