Podcast #22- 208 Days to Go!

Podcast #22- Click here to listen to this week’s podcast- Time for the Yard Sales!

Over the weekend Natalie and I hit up a whole mess of yard sales.  Listen as we discuss the various types of yard sales, our quest for Christmas finds, and how we did finding some treasures to give as gifts.  We have garages, historic homes, estates, churches, and career yard salers.  Four hours of fun and less than $50 spent.  Check out our plans for next week too- we need your help to make it happen.

Books! The perfect gift for almost anyone.

I love books!  I have hundreds and love to give them as gifts, especially at Christmas.  My nieces and nephew are all under 4 years old but they know that Uncle J brings books!  Christmas is such a nice book giving time.  You can give Christmas books or other books.  Activity books, story books, sticker books, primers, or just a classic picture book.  Sports books, biographies, novels, how-to, and travel might fit the bill for older readers.  The challenge with books is finding them.  Of course you can find just about any book on-line, but you have to know what you’re looking for.  Roaming through a book store provides that chance of discovering the hidden and unexpected find.  The book you didn’t know was written that is perfect for someone.   With fewer and fewer traditional book stores, the shopper must find new ways to discover books.  Try finding that local book sale.  I stumbled upon one last weekend at the Washington County Library in Smithsburg, MD.  Most libraries, in addition to providing so many other amazing programs, regularly host used book sales.  Churches and schools do the same.  These are great opportunities to discover a new book.  Roaming the tables with books spread all over is just a great was to spend an early afternoon.  Books smell good too!

Giving books is a great tradition but the cost could be prohibitive.  New books are so expensive and I like to give more than one book as a gift.  A pair of books seems so much better!  To make your gifting dollar go further look for those used books.  In addition to the book sales you can get many great finds at your local garage or yard sales.  The most you might pay for a book there is maybe a dollar.   Remember at most yard sales the goal of the seller is to just get rid of stuff.  Find 5 or 6 books you want and make an offer- I bet they’ll take it.  The other great benefit of giving used books is you can read them all before giving them, so shop early and read up.  Tomorrow Natalie and I are off on a yard sale quest to find Christmas treasures and bargains. I have books on my list and hope to find a few classic holiday titles for my nieces and nephew.  We’ll be sharing our results on Monday’s podcast so be sure to check it out!


Yard sale season opens today!

There must be some unspoken rule that the first weekend after Easter is the start of yard sale season.  In addition to the deafening roar of every busy lawn tractor, the weather today was perfect for garage sales.

When my children were younger and I wanted to stop at a yard sale, I used to tell the boys that the car was out of my control, veering on its own toward a lawn full of useless stuff.  Auctions are my favorite, but a yard sale, for me, is like the therapy of shoe shopping for other women.

I spent part of the day browsing over someone else’s Christmas leftovers.  The formula for most yard sales is one quarter old tools and household appliances that may or may not work, one quarter children’s clothing, one quarter old books and miscellaneous stuff, and one quarter old Christmas decorations.  It’s hard to believe how much we squirrel away—and how much I am willing to squirrel away other people’s gently used stuff.

I don’t think I’d ever buy Christmas lights–one woman had a tangled mess in a large cardboard box for 50 cents—because I haven’t figured out the secret of getting the string to light and stay lit with any consistency,  even when it’s fresh out of the box.

I avoid wreaths and other dried holiday arrangements.  They are prone to looking dry and brittle, and I have enough of my own dry and brittle arrangements in need of a fix.

I like vintage holiday tablecloths and unusual glass items that I can use for gift giving, especially if I perfect the shortbread cookies (see yesterday’s post). Today, I hovered over a family of carolers with electric candles but settled for a Hallmark trivet still in the packaging.  Total expense: $1.00.

No sign of those Christmas books by Susan Waggoner, but I’ve got the whole yard sale season.  I’m just getting started!