Gary and I have been together since 2000. After a while, it’s hard to figure out what to buy each other for birthdays and holidays. We sometimes make each other things, but it’s difficult to keep that a secret since we often share work spaces. If it’s something small, we can manage to get it made and hidden on a day off from work, but that is not always possible.
I tend to wobble back and forth between giving gifts and not giving gifts to each other, but I love opening presents on a special day and I love surprising someone with a thoughtful gift. We spend all year being responsible adults, so it’s so much fun to feel like a kid again on Christmas morning.
Earlier this month I came up with an idea that I thought our readers might like to hear about. For this Christmas, hubby and I are only allowed to give each other vintage, antique, pre-owned, or handmade gifts. We do this often, but it’s never been an exclusive requirement. We are almost always together when we are going to garage sales, estate sales and flea markets, so this will be a challenge. But with online auction sites and occasional days off from work, I think we can pull it off. I’d like all the items we buy to be from a local business, but I think it will work out to be about 50/50 between local businesses and online sites like Etsy, Ebay, and Amazon.
While looking online, it’s common to find the same item for sale from multiple vendors, so I have been paying attention to where they are located, and if I can find it from a New York state dealer, I have been choosing that option, even if it means paying a couple of dollars more. Small changes like this can make a huge impact on our local community as well as the financial health of our home state. You may have seen advertising campaigns talking about making a 10% shift to shopping local. We see them all the time in Central New York. The county where we live is rather rural, so it’s even more important to shop at little mom and pop shops whenever possible.
Anyway, I am super excited for this Christmas Challenge and invite you all to participate. Most of us have access to local thrift shops, antique stores and indoor flea markets all year round. Some of the ones in our area, close for the winter after Christmas, so now is a great time to get a bargain before they do. In the meantime, I will also be scouring the last of the estate sales before the weather finally turns on us. I’d say, I am about halfway through my Christmas shopping this year and can’t wait to show you what we found for each other. Of course you will have to wait until after Christmas for the pictures, but that will give us all something to look forward to, right?
If you have any other unique gift giving ideas, please share them in the comment section below. And if you are in the Oswego, NY area, please visit Port City Co-op at 137 W. 2nd St. where myself and 30+ vendors have a booth. This great little shop has a wonderful selection of vintage, antique, upcycled and handmade items.