This is a magical time.  We adorn our home with sparkling lights and glittering ornaments.  We fill our kitchen with the glorious baking smells.   And best of all there’s the dinner parties.  How lovely to linger with dear friends  long into the winter night.

The perfect hostess gift is not a bottle of wine (who knew she didn’t drink red).  Or a bar of scented soap (boring).  A box of chocolates (she’s on a diet).  The perfect hostess gift is a one-of-a-kind thrift shop discovery.  Two vintage crystal wine glasses, a silver pie server,  an exquisite bowl, a china gravy boat – these odds and ends make wonderful gifts.

This is such stress free shopping.  No crowded malls or endless piped in music.   One seldom pays more than a dollar or so for any item – especially the orphans.    And you are supporting a charity.   In our little village the money goes to our local hospital for everything from a new O.R. to blanket warmers.

I have a gift shelf in my linen closet.  All year-long I collect treasures.  I have found a Clarice Cliff plate,  Waterford goblets, valuable art books – all to be tucked away to share with my friends or given as hostess gifts.

And when I wrap my gifts I continue this revolt against garish Christmas wrapping paper.  I collect old music books  and recycle the pages into gift wrap  The older music books are often quite large and are the perfect size.  I seldom pay more than a dollar a book.

Happy shopping dear friends.






  1. Oh Virginia, as the recipient of some of you most lovely works of art, I cannot tell you what a delight your thoughtful gifts are. You are a most amazing person! I see the magic bicycle is ready to dash off with some greenery to decorate the little house in Paris, best hurry I do believe I saw Theadora waiting on the stoop with some bubbly!

  2. I always put the magic bicycle safely away for the winter. protected from the winter storms.
    “I know you are going to Paris and I am going with you. You’ll need me when you go to the markets. You can fill my basket with decorations and pine boughs and champagne. Paris is brilliant this time of year.” she said.
    “If you are going to Paris with me I shall adorn your frame with sparkly red lights. They’ll match my ruby slippers.”
    Together they slipped away into the night and through the fog to her little house in Paris.

    • You have me smiling! I do adore shopping, but I love finding bargains. When I discovered thrift shops many years ago I was hooked. I have found everything from Chanel purses to All-clad cook wear at unbelievable prices. It makes shopping fun!

    • I used to pass by the crystal wine glasses and vintage dishes. I already had cupboards full of dishes and so on. Then the light when on and I started picking up gorgeous items when ever I saw them. I love that I can be so generous and thoughtful – and save money at the same time Celi. Xx OO V.

  3. the domestic goddess that you are, I should not be surprised in the slightest that you gradually shop year-round for Christmas! What organization! I cannot imagine a soul alive who wouldn’t feel like a kid again taking a spin on that illuminated bike!

    You, my dear, are a champion gifter!

    • Not ALL the gifts come from Paris dear Jo Nell. When I troll the various thrifts shops (there are lots) everything I purchase has to pass the”does this look like something I might find in Paris” test. And of course books – I find the most wonderful art and coffee table books!

    • It gives me one more reason to troll these shops. There is a great deal of dross in the Thrift Shops but occasionally I find a treasure. It really is all about the thrill of the hunt. xoxoxo V.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s