Thrifty Gifting

Every Who Down in Whoville Liked Christmas a lot…

But the Grinch, who lived just north of Whoville, Did NOT!

The Grinch hated Christmas! The whole Christmas season!

Now, please don’t ask why. No one quite knows the reason.

It could be his head wasn’t screwed on just right.

It could be, perhaps, that his shoes were too tight.

But I think that the most likely reason of all,

May have been that his heart was two sizes too small.

Whatever the reason, His heart or his shoes,

He stood there on Christmas Eve, hating the Whos,

Staring down from his cave with a sour, Grinchy frown,

At the warm lighted windows below in their town.

From How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Dr. Suess

 

I think we have all shared the Grinch’s sentiment about the holidays to a certain extent, especially coming to terms with the fact that Christmas is, indeed, “practically here!” Granted, most people want Christmas to come and want to give nice gifts to their loved ones.

We all have iconic Christmas imagery in our heads in the form of sugar plums, fairies, nutcrackers, snowmen, and white Christmases, and as a result it is easy to get stressed out about trying to live up to an impossible standard for gifts and decorations. The crowds of people doing their shopping can become something to dread, the traffic on Black Friday is a force to contend with, as are the hordes of people willing to fight each other to snag up that last Barbie doll—and sometimes the price tags associated with our ideal gift can leave us feeling tight around the collar. So the real question is, how do we enjoy the holidays without turning into Grinches?

Traditionally, people hang up their decorations and put the Christmas tree up the day after Thanksgiving and then they go out and endure Black Friday. However, gift buying and decorating does not have to be a stressful affair. Most folks may not realize it but thrift stores are like little hidden treasure troves around the holidays, especially.

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Here in the East Mountains we are lucky to have several thrift stores, and you don’t have to go far to find them. There are two in Cedar Crest on North 14: Talking Talons and Hey Mavis; there are two in Edgewood: Hug a Horse and Salvation Army; and in Moriarty we have Bethel Community Storehouse.

Thrift stores are under-appreciated, in my opinion. Of all the stores they have the best selection—because they not only have items that you can find in different stores conveniently condensed into one location, but they also have items for different ages and items that cannot be found anywhere else. I love all things vintage and the thrift store is my go-to for vintage clothes, furniture, books and machines. My sewing machine from 1957 I found at a thrift store. I wasn’t alive in the 50s, so the only way I have been able to experience that nice little piece of sewing history was by keeping my eyes peeled at Hug a Horse in Edgewood. The same goes for my record player. I found it at Talking Talons, 6 years ago for 10 bucks; every part of it works, and all the vinyl and cassette tapes I enjoy through my made-in-the-60s speakers also came from a thrift store. In fact, there is only one brick and mortar store in close proximity to the East Mountains, that I am aware of, that still sells vinyl and cassettes, but it’s in Albuquerque and quite frankly the selection at the thrift store is better. Given the choice, I will dodge the city and stay up in the mountains every single time.

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There is also something to be said about thoughtfulness when shopping for a loved one at a thrift store. Department stores tell you what is in style and what to buy for boys, girls, mom, dad, and so on. When you go to a thrift store, you have to slow down and take a look around, sometimes search through a room full of stuff; while doing this you have the opportunity to really think about the person you are shopping for and find something that is not generic.

Thrift stores are not crowded and uncomfortable like a department store, even on the busiest shopping days of the year. Sometimes there is a good sale going on like senior discounts at Bethel Storehouse and Salvation Army, or half off on kitchenware at Talking Talons—but even with a good sale crowding is not as much of an issue, and in the East Mountains you are more likely to run into a neighbor and chat about your dog for 20 minutes instead of angrily standing in line behind someone with loads of purchases.

Decorating for Christmas can be both a time-consuming activity and quite expensive depending on how fancy you want to get, but that is another area where the thrift stores have got it covered. You can get all the Christmas bells and whistles at the thrift store. I have found lights, spare bulbs, stockings, cookie tins, tinsel, tree wraps, nativity scenes, tree toppers, ornaments, knickknacks, Santas, Christmas trees, inflatable yard ornaments and all other manner of Christmas décor. A lot of times you can even find it brand new in the package at half the price. Hug A Horse, for example, has an entire room dedicated to Christmas decorations this year and they have everything a person could want in that way. As soon as you walk in the door your eyes will be met by the decorations they hung up to be festive and the decorations for sale. When I see the Christmas décor at the thrift stores, I always figure that some poor guy tried his best to get the correct color scheme and got it wrong, causing him to donate those goodies and try again. Mistakes like that result in what regular thrift store shoppers call a “good score.”

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Thrift stores in the East Mountains are mostly locally owned and operated, providing one more reason to shop there instead of going all the way to the city for department stores. Talking Talons, Hug a Horse and Bethel Storehouse all do a lot to serve the community, so when we spend our money there it directly benefits our community. Talking Talons does a lot of work within public schools and they have youth programs. Hug a Horse sends its proceeds to the Walkin N Circles horse rescue ranch in Cedar Grove, they are supported fully by the thrift store and volunteers. Bethel gives away free clothes, small appliances, furniture and food to families in need year-round. They also collect food and donate Thanksgiving supplies to families in need. This year, they also have two giant boxes outside filled with free pumpkins and squash, free to anyone who wants it.

The way we keep these wonderful programs around is to support them by shopping there. So, if you think about it you can kill two birds with one stone—make your Who girls and boys happy this year by finding thoughtful gifts, and like Dr. Suess taught us, even the Grinch can find a way to fall in love

with the Christmas season.

Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas and I hope I run into you at a thrift store!he Christmas season. Merry Christmas everyone! I hope I see you at the thrift store!

I think we have all shared the Grinch’s sentiment about the holidays to a certain extent. Granted, most people want Christmas to come and want to give nice gifts to our loved ones. We all have iconic Christmas imagery in our heads, and as a result it is easy to get stressed out about gifts and decorations. The crowds of people doing their shopping can become something to dread, the traffic on Black Friday is a force to contend with and sometimes the price tags associated to our ideal gift can leave us feeling tight around the collar. So the real question is, how do we enjoy the holidays without turning into Grinches?

Gift buying and decorating does not have to be a stressful affair. Here in the East Mountains we are lucky to have several thrift stores. There are two in Cedar Crest on North 14: Talking Talons and Hey Mavis; there are two in Edgewood: Hug-a-Horse and Salvation Army; and in Moriarty we have Bethel. Thrift stores are under-appreciated, in my opinion. Of all the stores they have the best selection—because they not only have items that you can find in different stores conveniently condensed into one location, they also have items for different ages and cannot be found anywhere else. I love all things vintage and the thrift store is my go-to for vintage clothes, furniture, books and machines. My sewing machine from 1957 I found at a thrift store. I wasn’t alive in the 50s, so the only way I was able to experience that nice little piece of sewing history was by keeping my eyes peeled at Hug a Horse in Edgewood.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

There is also something to be said about thoughtfulness when shopping for a loved one at a thrift store. Department stores tell you what is in style and what to buy for boys, girls, mom, dad, and so on. When you go to a thrift store, you have to slow down and take a look around, sometimes search through a room full of stuff; and while doing this you have the opportunity to really think about the person you are shopping for. Thrift stores are not crowded and uncomfortable like a department store. Sometimes there is a good sale going on like senior discounts at Bethel Storehouse and Salvation Army or half off on kitchenware at Talking Talons—but even with a good sale crowding is not as much of an issue, and in the East Mountains you are more likely to run into a neighbor.

Decorating for Christmas can be both a time-consuming activity and quite expensive depending on how fancy you want to get, but that is another area where the thrift stores have got it covered. You can get all the Christmas bells and whistles at the thrift store. I have found, lights, spare bulbs, tinsel, tree wraps, nativities, tree toppers, ornaments, knick knacks, and all other manner of Christmas décor. A lot of times you can even find it brand new in the package at half the price. I always figure that some poor guy tried his best to get the correct color scheme and got it wrong; causing him to donate those goodies and try again. Mistakes like that result in what regular thrift store shoppers call a “good score.”

Thrift stores in the East Mountains are mostly locally owned and operated, providing one more reason to shop there instead of going all the way to the city for department stores. Talking Talons, Hug a Horse and Bethel Storehouse all do a lot to serve the community, so when we spend our money there it directly benefits the community. Talking Talons does a lot of work within public schools and they have youth programs. Hug a Horse sends its proceeds to the Walkin N Circles horse rescue ranch in Cedar Grove. Bethel gives away free clothes, small appliances, furniture and food to families in need year-round. They also collect food and donate Thanksgiving supplies to families in need. The way we keep these wonderful programs around is to support them by shopping there. So, if you think about it you can kill two birds with one stone—make your Who girls and boys happy this year by finding thoughtful gifts and like Dr. Suess taught us, even the Grinch can find a way to stay in love with the Christmas season. Merry Christmas everyone! I hope I see you at the thrift store!