Apparently the majority of my friends decided to be born within three months of each other, and as a broke college student, it’s taking a serious toll on my (almost nonexistent) bank account. I know they don’t expect any big, expensive presents from me. They might not expect anything at all, but I love giving gifts. I’m a selfish gift-giver.
Watching a friend open a present from me that I know they’ll love makes me really happy. I’ll go as far as saying that it gives me a sense of glory. I guess it’s sort of a contradiction – to be greedily generous, but my friends can’t really complain.
Anyway, I’ve realized that the best and least bank-breaking way to find my friends presents they’ll love is, of course, thrifting. Some of my own favorite gifts were thrifted, and a lot of the more unique and personal gifts I’ve been able to pick out for others have come from thrift shops, too.
Here are some of the best things I’ve found for other people while thrift shopping!
Warning: These might not sounds like “the best things” to you (they might sound outright strange), but due to their subtext, my friends loved them. I swear.
- Clown paintings for the boyfriend
So my boyfriend, like many boyfriends, likes the show South Park. There’s one episode about a shy, nerdy side character named Kip Dordy who has no friends on Facebook. In Kip’s room, there are sad clown pictures on the walls, which I assume are figurate of Kip’s life – absurdly depressing. My boyfriend thinks it was one of the funniest things ever.
One day, browsing the wonderfully weird art selection at my local Goodwill, I found a sad clown painting. I don’t know what drew me to it. I wasn’t looking for a sad clown painting. I wasn’t looking for a painting at all. I just took a moment to glance through the assortment of artworks, and there it was.
He loved it. He more than loved it. He couldn’t believe it. And I couldn’t believe it when just a couple weeks later, back at the same Goodwill, I found another sad clown painting by the same artist. Now the pair of them hang in our bathroom, watching over us.
- Sheep picture frame for the best friend
My best friend is a lot like me. We both love vintage clothes, chocolate, and animals, especially farm animals like sheep and pigs. When I see something I like, I can kind of assume that she’ll like it, too. So when I found a good-as-new picture frame with adorable little lambs on it, I knew one of us should have it. Since it was Christmas time, it had to be her. I put a picture of me and my boyfriend in it (her two favorite people, obviously) and gave it to her.
- Murder mystery board game for the roommates
My roommates and I always have game nights. We play video games, board games, trivia games, whatever. Awhile ago, we tried to do a murder mystery, but we didn’t realize that it takes serious planning. And we’re lazy. It was disappointing, though, because we were pretty excited.
But I found the perfect substitute while out thrifting one day: a murder mystery board game called Murder Mystery Mansion. I didn’t really know what it was when I bought it, but it was a game (check), had the words “murder mystery” in the title (check), and was less than five dollars (check). I brought it home and realized it required no serious planning (check mate), and we decided to play it that night. It’s now one of our favorite games to play!
What are some of the best presents you’ve given or received that came from thrift stores? Don’t leave me hanging. I can see you guys, and I really want to hear from you!