Sunday 2 November 2014

Christmas Challenge

Halloween season is finally over at the thrift stores.  Don't get me wrong, I love Halloween but for those of us who thrift all year long, the whole affair is rather disruptive.  I imagine it's like living in a tourist town when July and August hit.  On a positive note, it can be invigorating, but really, the locals can't wait for things to settle back down to normal.

Naturally, once Halloween is done (or even before it's done if you're Costco), we shift into Christmas mode.  Craft fairs, early parties, December scheduling, Christmas lights and more - the whirlwind is starting.  Well, this year, I plan to do things differently.  This year, I am embarking on a Christmas Challenge unlike anything I have ever done before.  This year, I am having a Second-Hand Christmas and I challenge you to do the same
   I meant to get many shots of the various gift opportunities available at thrift stores, like this rack of jammies!  
(I want jammies.)
I got sidetracked by a $6 plaid dress which I will showcase soon and then you'll understand why I lost my focus.

Here is how it works:
  1. Make your Christmas shopping list.  Kids, spouse, extended family, teachers, gag gift exchanges - put it all on there.  Need Christmas decor?  Put that on there too!  Need tins for your cookie exchange (to which you'll invite me!)?  Add it to the list! 
  2. Start shopping your local thrift shops for your list.  Unlike regular retail, there is no guarantee on their stock, so don't wait till the last minute then be frustrated or disappointed when you can't find that special something.  Start looking now!  Thrift stores have clothing, scarves, decor, books, toys, games!  I have even found Christmas wrapping and cards at VV!! 
  3. Talk to your kids and family about the benefits of second-hand shopping.  This is not only about saving money!  This is about supporting your community, being a conscious consumer, reduce/reuse/recycle...  Talk to your kids about what they can find for the people on their lists at second-hand stores, and encourage them to think twice about their own wish lists.  
  4. Thrift shops aren't the only second-hand option.  There is Kijiji and eBay and maybe even ongoing garage sales where you live (where I live, I would have to go by dogsled).  I'm even wondering about hitting some friends up for trades.  Radical!  Life Preloved also pointed out that Trend Trunk is an awesome second-hand source for many new-with-tags items including perfume, beauty products and clothing.  AND She Does Create is designing Christmas decor with upcycled elements!  So many good places to shop for Christmas!!
  5. Take in donations and watch the sale dates for your local thrift stores so you can maximize your savings.
Sounds like fun!!  I am allowing one "little" exception in my Second-Hand Christmas Challenge... I could never not support all the local artists, designers and crafters.  This is their season and I want them to keep doing what they're doing, so I won't hold back from buying local handmade goods.  It was really just too cumbersome to say "Second-hand and/or Local Handmade Christmas."  But that's what I really mean. 

There is no way to lose with this challenge!  Whether you get one or every gift second hand or locally handmade, you will be making a difference!  And you will change a little for the better! 

Soooooo, any takers?  If you play along, I would truly love to hear how it's going for you!  Email me, tag me on Twitter or Instagram, or connect via Facebook.  Use #SecondhandChristmas and share your Second-Hand Christmas story!  Now, let the Christmas thrifting begin!



  1. Great Idea! I am also creating Christmas decor using 85% up cycled elements! Shopping at Craft Fairs is much like thrifting too - you must get it when you see it because those items aren't available last minute either! Thanks Nicole!

  2. oooh! that is a good challenge! :) I must admit, I would find that tricky! :) But...I will see what I can do! Have fun! I'm excited to hear about what you find!! :)


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