‘Go Used or Go Home’ — Why My Family Does a ‘Thrift’ Christmas

The Spear family gift-giving mantra for Christmas is “go used or go home.” Every gift shared in our family of five must be a thrifted item, a decision committed to a couple of years back after several second-hand treasure exchanges became fan favorites.

And I can’t tell you how refreshing these last couple weeks have been. Black Friday and Cyber-Monday came and went without a peep. And Amazon power shopping made the ixnay list, transforming the smiling brown boxes into ghosts of Christmas last.

We’ve had an absolute BLAST seeking out never-before-visited thrift shops all over town. Our rare finds include funky garb, vintage art, and repurposed gadgets. There’s something about the whole ‘used’ vibe that feels more authentic, vibrant, earthy.

When we buy clothes, art, books, dishes, vinyl records at a thrift store, it’s exciting. Everything holds treasure status because of its uniqueness. Thrifting is searching for gifts, throwback style, where old is the new hip. And the discount pricing isn’t so bad either. But we don’t thrift just to save a buck. We thrift because we love to find cool stuff. We thrift because being different, dressing off-trend, is more our style. Our willingness to revive something super random is life-giving.

And then there are the stories.

Who journeyed before us in the worn-out jeans, 80’s band tee, and ragged flannel? Was theirs a life of joy or sorrow? Bliss or burden? What about the stuff hanging on racks and laying on shelves from estate sales? What history exists in the stitches and seams, weathered wood, faded glass, brittle book bindings?

When we buy second-hand things, we are reclaiming part of the life story of someone else. Past experience breathes deep. We can’t help but absorb the invisible DNA. And when we purchase something once belonging to a soul who’s transcended into the eternal now, we carry their story forward in the physical present. What a reward.

Shelby Spear
Shelby Spearhttp://shelbyspear.com/
Shelby is a sappy soul whisperer, sarcasm aficionado, and pro-LOVE, Jesus adoring mom of 3 Millennials writing stuff & doing life with her hubby of 25 years. You can read her stories on her blog at shelbyspear.com, around the web, and in print at Guideposts. Shelby's new book, co-authored with Lisa Leshaw, is now available: How Are You Feeling, Momma? (You don't need to say, "I'm fine.")

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