Be like Jesus, the Grinch and Scrooge this Christmas: A Trip to the Thrift Shop- Blogmas #2


After my first Blogmas post yesterday, I was racking my brain of what Christmas related thing I would write about today. And as I was showering, which is when many of my greatest thoughts occur, I had an epiphany. Not THE Epiphany. (You’ll have to wait until January 6, 2018 for that.) I was thinking how awful it is for those you who don’t have Lost and Never-Found Basements like me (re: Hoarders: The Secrets that Hide Beneath &  TRASH OR TREASURE in the Lost and Never-Found Basement- Enter my contest today!), where you can dig up old Christmas decorations and give your home that tacky, yet homey, look. My heart was aching for those of you who aren’t as privileged as me to have a basement stuffed with hidden treasures and lots of junk. I thought about those of you who maybe had all your belongings taken away by the Repo people, or maybe your house caught fire, or maybe you were an orphan and you never had any ornaments with history to them.

This is my ass (Treasure found in Lost & Never-Found Basement.)

So… I got in my car and took my ass down to the Salvation Army Thrift Store.

One of my passions is going to the Thrift Store. For anyone unfamiliar with a Thrift Store, basically it is a place where people take things that they consider junk and then the Thrift Store sells to other people who consider the junk to be treasures. The wonderful thing about the Salvation Army Thrift Store is that most of the money raised goes to help the needy. Jesus was a big supporter of the needy, so shopping at the Thrift Stores makes you a little like Jesus. I say a little because you’re not divine. Well, I’m assuming you’re not. (Sorry, Jesus, if you’re reading this.) The Salvation Army Thrift store I went to is the Lansdowne location in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada.

The first awesome thing I noticed was a sign on the door. It is the kind of sign cheapies like me (and Scrooge) LOVE!

50% off already cheap stuff!!! I peed in my pants just a little!

Then I went around the store to show off just a few of the amazing bargains. You can decorate your whole home for Christmas at the Thrift Shop. And you can get awesome Christmas gifts too! I know you may be thinking, I can’t give second-hand things as gifts for Christmas. Trust me, you couldn’t be MORE wrong. For one thing, whatever gifts you buy for people will probably end up in the Thrift Shop anyway, so why are you wasting all that money on the gifts? Also, there are quality items to be found at the Thrift Shop if you just take the time to look for them.




Just look at the wonderful decorations I found at my local Salvation Army Thrift Shop:


Some of these items are older ones; some of them can be bought brand-new in stores today. All of them are cheap! But the savings don’t stop there.

Socks & gift-bags!
Christmas mugs- why spend an arm and a leg on holiday mugs? They make great gifts too.
A Tealight Candle Set in its original box? I smell a Christmas present!


Got people who like to cook on your Christmas list? I always find great cookware at the Thrift Shop. I take it home, clean them up (if needed)- and it’s good as new. As long as you wrap these items up in tissue paper and put them in a fancy box, no one will even be the wiser that you actually bought their gift at the Salvation Army Thrift Store. They’ll think instead that you overspent! (And then the item will likely end up back at the Thrift Store anyway as I already pointed out… )


These are just a few of the really amazing finds I had a the Thrift Store today in just 10 minutes! I didn’t even cover the clothes, toys, books, and more.

Not only does the Thrift Store save you money, help those in need, but shopping at the Thrift Shop makes you green like the Grinch. These items would end up in a landfill somewhere if they weren’t being dropped off at the store. Your heart will grow 10 times the size just thinking about how much smaller your local landfill is getting due to your Thrift Store shopping efforts. So again, I ask you, why buy something new that’s going to just end up in the Thrift Shop, when you can buy something that was already there? And if it does happen that the person you bought the gift for actually likes the thing, well, WIN, WIN!

So this Christmas, may I suggest you make like Jesus, the Grinch and Scrooge: help those in need, our planet AND save yourself some money? Do your shopping at a Thrift Shop! They’re AWESOME!!!


It’s Not Easy Being Green


Ever feel like you’re being weighed down by bags? I have only two hands and so many bags but I only want to make one trip to carry them all. But I can’t. I need help. I’m weighed down by bags, some of which I didn’t mean to pick up and I didn’t pack them, but I have them nonetheless. What to do with all these bags? It’s overwhelming.

I always try to use reusable shopping bags. They are eco-friendly and I can fit more things in them. I live on the second floor of a flat and the fewer bags the better to carry them up the stairs.

I recently started reading this book given to me by a friend called Choice Theory. I have only read the first chapter but it resonates. The idea is that we are all seeking the same thing: the freedom to make our own choices. Often we feel like things happen to us. But really everything is about our choices. I chose to pick up these bags. And now I have to figure out how to get rid of some of the load.

Life would be so much simpler if we allowed each other the freedom to be our authentic selves. I see it so clearly: the outside pressure on me to choose what others want me to do, what they think is “best.” But I also know in my heart what will make me happy.

Right now I am in a situation where everyday, my bags cause me a mixture of anxiety and depression (which I’ve been told are like ugly step-sisters.) I search my soul for a solution- the anxiety, the depression- the PNES- they are but symptoms of the larger thing that is wrong: the biggest, heaviest bag which seems to be collecting more and more items as each day progresses.

The theory of choice says that I should just do what will make me happy- others can’t make me do anything. But it isn’t really that simple. Each bag I carry represents either a person I love, or an outside entity, or “the system.” It’s not easy to make a choice for yourself that you know has implications for others around you and even yourself that could be negative, especially when you know it is the one thing that will lighten the load.

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Maybe it’s time I stopped being so eco-conscious and started just using disposable bags. I can just let stuff fall out through the cheap plastic bottoms, leave them on the ground, pretending I didn’t notice. One less thing to care about.



I’m not young anymore. I’m in my 40s and I’ve wasted so much of my life carrying around these damn bags. It’s time for someone to either help me or for me to leave a bag behind and let the contents rot on the road side, with the carcasses of raccoons and porcupines.

It’s either the bag or me.