The Gift of Thrift: Thought Really Does Count

As cliché as it may sound, when it comes to giving the Gift of Thrift during the holidays, it really is the thought that counts. By giving extra care to the way your presents are packaged and presented, you’ll be giving a gift that will be remembered and cherished for its thoughtfulness. I always try to make each Gift of Thrift special, making certain that it is absolutely spotless. And since it most likely won’t come in its original packaging, I enjoy finding original ways to make my gifts stand out.

Hooch Bag


Throughout the year, I keep my eyes open for interesting ribbons. I leave the bows for someone else, since I prefer a handmade element in my gift-wrapping. I find the best goodies at garage sales in the dead of summer when Christmas seems far away on the calendar. In addition, I always seek unusual containers to hold my presents. A festive tin that cost $1 at goodwill can be used to hold almost anything, from vintage linens to holiday cookies. Once, I found an antique, miniature log cabin with a pop-up roof in a thrift store. I bought it for next to nothing, dropped in a gift certificate and tied a thrifted bow around the entire piece just to add drama. As for other imaginative gift vessels, I often opt for vintage handbags, tailoring them to reflect the personality of the recipients.

Another idea for gifting baked goods is to scour thrift shops for inexpensive and unique serving platters. When I am a guest at a party, I like to take a pineapple upside down plate on a thrifted plate chosen especially for the gathering. That way, the host has a little something to remember his or her event by, and I don’t have to worry about retrieving my dish later!


One thing I’m always on the lookout for is unused, vintage greeting cards. I find that garage sales are the best source for this – especially in the dead of summer when people just want to get rid of stuff. Last summer while I was back visiting my family in Independence, Missouri, I found two boxes of 1970s greeting cards in a garage sale that set me back a whole $1. To spruce up my retro cards, I added splashes of glitter, colorful ribbons and jingle bells to help ring in the season with a one-of-a-kind Gift of Thrift.

Stan Williams

Stan Williams

Always Frugal, Always Fabulous,
Stan Williams, The Elegant Thrifter