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

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 fam 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.

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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.

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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.

Isn’t the reason we celebrate Christmas the most significant example of this concept? In faith, we choose to make ours something belonging to a soul that has transcended into the eternal now. That soul is Jesus. The gift is eternal life. And although such a treasure cost Jesus his life, the gift is always available to us for free.

We carry His story forward in the physical present every day because His Divine Image rests in the depths of our heart. The invisible DNA of Christ spirals through our cells, a spiritual hand-me-down from God the Father.

This is more than a reward. It’s one of the greatest thrift items of all time. And we don’t even have to go to a store to find it.

P.S. We spent HOURS on Christmas morning telling stories about where we shopped, why we picked our specific gifts, and imagined all the history behind the items. Magical.


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Shelby Spear
Shelby is a Christian mom to three beautiful knuckleheads who have left her with an empty nest in which to ponder what the mom thing has (done to her) meant over the past twenty-two years. You can read her open book of revelations, screw-ups, gaffs, and joys at http://shelbyspear.com