Last Minute Holiday Gifts

What do baby onesies, camouflage caps (gag gift), cookbooks, state-themed earrings, men’s button-down shirts, and lacy antique handkerchiefs have in coming?

All things I’ve bought from thrift stores to give as gifts.  And all things YOU could easily thrift this week if you are in need of last-minute holiday presents.

Tacky you might say?  Not much tackier than turning a holiday centered around the birth of a poor, possession-less prophet decrying our attachment to riches and status into a commercialized consumer-fest.  (Too harsh?)

Anyway, my friends and loved ones know I thrift as much as possible, so they don’t really care if they receive something pre-loved from me.  Some of them have even joined me and given US thrifted gifts, which we love.  Much less financial stress, plus the fun of the hunt, AND you’re guaranteed to be giving unique gifts.  And if your family does gag gifts or stocking stuffers, well, there’s no better place to find affordable ridiculousness than the Goodwill.

Like this:


We were gifted a similar one with “Jesus” on it.  Perfect for a two-minister household with just a touch of snark (see above description of modern-day Christmas).


But what if your loved ones don’t agree with my definition of tacky and they want something unworn by other human beings??  Head to a record store and hand-pick a cool vintage record for your loved one, because somehow records get cooler with age even when clothes do not.  You can frame it as wall art if they don’t have a record player.


All well and good, but what if your holiday gathering is TOMORROW and it’s 9pm and you have NOTHING??

Good thing the internets never sleep.

Even friends who are NOT so excited about my love of giving secondhand gifts are moved to tears by non-commercial gifts from places like Heifer, Habitat, or MercyCorps.  Seriously, there is a creative, unique charitable gift for everyone you know and love.  Google a non-profit related to something your giftee loves (puppies? nurses? fighting cancer? teaching kids to code?) and I bet they will have a program whereby you can honor loved ones with your donation.  If not, just make a card explaining the gift.

The best part about these kinds of gifts?  They are INSTANTANEOUS.  Just click “submit donation” and you’ll get a printable card or a receipt to slip inside your own, hand-made card; or an email sent straight to your honoree on the day you choose.  BAM.  No wrapping needed, no last-minute trip to the mall.


What have you bought secondhand as a gift?  What are your favorite non-material gift donations?  Scroll down to comment!


2 thoughts on “Last Minute Holiday Gifts

  1. I haven’t thrifted gifts before, although I have given used books and hand-made plenty of gifts. I’d guess clothes are out since you can’t try them on for people. But I’ll be sure to look for other things!

    One of my favorite kitchen items, that we use constantly, is the spoon-rest you thrifted for me.

    1. I agree about the clothes–although I have occasionally found pieces PERFECT for someone else and not gotten them for that reason and regretted it. Because if it’s $6 for that great dress and the person doesn’t like it or it doesn’t fit, take it to Dress for Success or donate it back.

      re: spoon rest–Yay! Glad it’s still in use. Is this the one with the seagull on it or no??

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *