For some people, giving gifts is as simple as pulling out a wallet. The catch is that cash isn’t always very memorable. It’s more fulfilling for both people to find an item that a person can really use, wrap it in festive paper and bows, and then watch the recipient’s face light up when they finally see what’s inside.
If you’re the type of person to wait until the last minute, Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona would like to remind you that there are plenty of options available — even when the rest of the stores are all sold out.
1. Vintage Electronics
If you’re looking for something for a collector or hobbyist, cast your mind back to all of the stories he used to tell you about his childhood. Maybe as a boy, he was obsessed with his transistor or ham radio. Maybe he loved tinkering with old appliances. These things aren’t just a chance to relive the past, it’s a tactile experience that can be every bit as satisfying in the modern world as it was back in the day when they were new.
2. Picture Frames
Picture frames are a universal way to highlight the things and people that are important to you. Because they’re so beloved, there are frames out there that can fit any personality or decor. If you’re looking for a gift that’s genuinely one-of-a-kind, exploring a thrift shop is your ticket to unexpected and delightful treasures.
Older frames, whether they’re straight-laced or funky, likely have a rich backstory behind them. They may have been used for family photos, children’s drawings, art, etc. Once you’ve picked out a frame, you’ll have a better idea of what to put inside it. Whether it’s a drawing you did or a photo of you and the recipient, these are gifts with true staying power.
At Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona, people from every walk of life walk through the doors. Some people may just be donating old clothes that their kids have outgrown, but some are dropping off some high-ticket antiques that would almost certainly cost much more in an antique store.
If you’re looking for a thoughtful item for dad or for parents, an antique might pair perfectly in their living room, bedroom, or den. Beautiful wood coffee tables, custom-made chairs, old steamer trucks, or sideboards can wind up being a focal point in the room. Antiques are a great way to add character to any home.
Do you know someone in your life who loves fashion and isn’t afraid to show it? Vintage clothes are different than what you’d find at a department store or a boutique, and while they’re not always as easy to sift through, it’s incredible what you can find if you look hard enough.
If you’re handy with a pair of scissors and a sewing machine, there are even more DIY possibilities. You can end up getting a load of t-shirts at a bulk rate and then turning them into true works of art.
Or you can consider a more practical approach. For instance, do you know someone who wants to level up in their career? Consider getting them a blazer as a gift of encouragement. Or maybe you know a runner who needs a few more outfits that they can afford to get a little sweaty.
As with clothes, shoes show the receiving person that you know who they are and what they’re looking for. If you know your niece loves to wear cowboy boots, maybe find them a comfortable pair at a great price.
If you know your friend has a beach vacation planned in January, you can get them a pair of sandals as a fun addition to their bag. Shoes aren’t always to buy if you don’t know the person very well, so we recommend this option only if you’re relatively sure about both the size and fit for the individual.
Buying for children is a little easier, but you can’t always assume that kids will like every toy on the shelf. Try to think about not only what the child enjoys but also where their talents lie. Anything from a ukulele to a stuffed animal can bring hours of delight to a kid.
Some toys have a way of being exciting when kids first open them, only to be discarded when something else comes along. Others are slower burns, meaning they might become beloved over time. Whatever you buy, make sure you don’t spend a lot. Second-hand toys can be every bit as comforting and exciting as brand-new ones.
Playing games in families isn’t just a way to bond, it’s a way to create lasting memories. Some of the best laughs you’re ever going to have will come when one of the players catches a bad string of luck or when one of the kids forgets that they had a way to win all along. Games at Goodwill of Northern and Central Arizona aren’t sold with dozens of components missing. If you’re looking for last minute Christmas gift ideas, buying the right game can bring the family hours of fun for hardly any money at all.
Puzzles are a great way to spend a rainy Saturday or a lazy Sunday, and they have a way of relaxing both the body and the mind. It’s meditative to think about just one problem and not the 50 others that are swirling around both in and outside the house. Whether they’re completed methodically or picked up and dropped off as need be, any kind of puzzle has the power to give us a little distraction when we need it most. Plus, it drags people away from their screens for a while, where they can focus on something that isn’t constantly flashing and demanding their attention.
Some people love to read, others love to cook or fix cars. Whatever it is you’re looking for, the perfect book can wind up being a thoughtful Christmas present. Whether you get a friend a collection of chocolate cake recipes or a paperback mystery for the fireside reader in your life, books have a way of being more special when they’re given as gifts.
10. Serving Dishes
For the entertainer in your life, new serving dishes may be a welcome addition to their kitchen. Serving dishes in different colors and themes can be a fun way to mix up events and give them their own flair. For instance, you might get someone a turkey platter for next Thanksgiving or a cheeseboard for their next wine-tasting affair. Buying from Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona can be a great way to find styles you wouldn’t see elsewhere.
There are dozens of potential gifts when you shop at the right consignment store, the key is to keep an open mind as you browse through the shelves. Try to think about the person you’re buying for and how they would look in their home, as opposed to how it looks grouped together on a rack or in an aisle.