Monday, December 13, 2010

A Used Christmas

We don't have a lot of money this Christmas. I don't say this as some plea for sympathy or checks in the mail (though if you want my address, I'll oblige... *wink*).

But we don't. It's just life right now. It's how things fell, how life fell, how we're picking up the pieces.

I love Christmas though. I love it so much and I'm determined to not let an empty wallet pierce my little Cindy-Lou Who heart.

When I went to decorate the tree this year, I was sad to find quite a few of our ornaments had shattered, broken, or simply succumbed to old glue. So...with a jar of quarters budget, I wandered into a thrift store.

Did you know that thrift stores are currently marking down all their Christmas inventory?

Did you?

Because I didn't.

So imagine my joy to spend $1.18 and leave with a bag full of vintage-y ornaments, wrapping paper and a renewed Christmas spirit.

We hung them up, in between the hand-me-down ornaments, the bruised ones from years gone by, and it all seems so appropriate. We're fitting in our used with the bruised.

(And yes it's an artificial tree. Let's not talk about that.)

Whether you're on a budget or not, I hope you discover that Christmas is so much more than how much cash you're spending. Maybe this Christmas isn't shaping up to what you hoped it would be. Maybe you've known for awhile now that this was going to be a hard year.

I can say, though maybe without full knowledge, I know how you feel. I'm fitting in my bruises with the things that feel used, too. But somewhere in there, Christmas exists. I hope you find it too.

Even a thrifted Christmas has so much joy, I sometimes can hardly contain it.


  1. I went in to our local thrift on Friday and was DELIGHTED with the things I found! I Ehl Oh Vee EEE LOVE thrift store finds!

  2. Andrea,
    If I were to guess the kind of ornaments that would hang from your tree, I would picture some that look like the above. They are beautiful and they suit you, and instead of running to charge some Christmas sparkle, you found serious treasure at a thrift shop.

    When we first got married, we spent the $10.00 we had to go out and cut a tree ($10.00 what a bargin, right?), but then we only had about five ornaments. I couldn't stand the sight of that bare little tree. So my husband and I went out and picked up a grocery bag of pinecones at a near-by park, attached hooks, and ta da! Christmas done up right.

    Loved your story.

  3. How fun! If I could get out (no car today) I'd take MY jar of quarters and buy Christmas things!
    I did however get some new life on my tree (also fake, sigh) by going to an ornament exchange! So fun, and I brought home 10 different handmade ornaments.

  4. @Amy Sullivan

    I LOVE that idea!!! I bet it was beautiful too!

  5. @Sarah O

    I've never heard of an ornament exchange! What a great idea! I'll have to plan one of those for next year :)

  6. Love the vintage-y ornaments! We have our lil ole fake tree up too this year, I'm inspired to get in there and decorate with some extra love after your inspiration. I like the handmade ornament exchange idea, can I come? :)

    Have a blessed Christmas!

  7. it's so hard when the budget changes. i know that this year as well. i don't have a tree topper any more, and you know what? it doesn't matter. what i love is the lights. reminding me of the light of the world. come to me. come to my family. i could stare at that tree for hours just contemplating Him.

  8. @Mandy

    yay for inspiration! :) maybe next year we can all mail an ornament to eachother. wouldn't that be fun? :)

  9. @kendal

    I know what you mean! Simplicity has a way of bringing the most amazing and beautiful things to the surface. I'm "sitting" next to you staring at that tree too :)

  10. I am so proud of you. I am so inspired by you!

  11. I love how God can use our empty wallets to fill us more with Him - more of His words, more of His hearts, more of His...everything. I just see Him delighting in you.

  12. I'm sending you a big hug because I've had more than my share of those rough, unexpected holidays. You have the best gift of all, however, your daughter. Sometimes the 'simple' Christmas's are the very best. Love.

  13. @Jen You're so right. He fills all those empty spaces. Not always the way I wish he would, but it's always better. Thanks for being such an encouragement!

  14. @Miss Ginger I'll take that hug!! :) And you're right — my little sweet is a gift. The best kind.

  15. Trying to find the joy in my own simple Christmas this year. Thank you for sharing.