What did you thrift today?

Can you believe it’s Thursday already? We’re 10 days into the new year, how are all of you doing on your New Year Resolutions?

In these parts, we skipped the traditional naming of resolutions. Like a lot of holiday traditions this year, it went by the wayside. I’m sure we’ll pick it up again next year, but this year, we were just relieved to see the calendar numbers flip, content to let 2007’s resolutions ride.

Last year’s resolutions included getting skinnier. Both in how much we consume and physically. (We also banned house-guests for the whole year. Oh, that was controversial. I lost a few friends who saw their free Bed and Breakfast close down. Personally, I’d like to be closed for business indefinitely!) I’m in no mood to chat about the weight loss stuff… as terms like BMI and the diabetes get me in a whole passel of trouble. Besides, you just have to know I have a REAL rant coming down the pike on that eventually. And without naming names, I’m won’t be pulling any punches either. Which might be the only New Year’s resolution I made, if you count the aftermath of December’s Debacle— no more mealy mouthed Wende. Some truths need to be said—malevolent lurkers be damned.

But that’s another day. Further afield, perspective in hand. Today, I can speak clearly about our reducing on the consumption side, specifically packaging. That’s been fun! Retail produces so much packaging, it’s shameful. There is only so much you can recycle—so a thrifting I have gone. Less retail, less in the landfill. It’s included so much Thrifting that somehow I started a small, not for profit (evidently, Oh!!Oh!!Oh!!), business that keeps me more distracted than I like. And again, another post.

The upside of all my thrifting is that it benefits my family in small ways. We are a family of three. Odd numbers are the Kabbalah of thrift stores; it’s why a lot of things get donated. Sets are missing members, fours become threes and in the process useless to bigger families. Their toss is my gain. I snatch up sets of three constantly—napkins, napkin rings, plates, cups. . . Holy Trinities of reusable goods.

We’ve used fabric napkins for ages. Down with paper, I say. I do have a stash of paper napkins—take-out refugees that I keep on hand for when masses of small children lay siege and demand sticky treats. But for family dinners, we use cloth. And to keep germs at bay, we keep our napkins marked with napkin rings. I picked up this little set of hand-carved wood rings for just 25 cents. A fish. A whale. A pig. We’ll argue about who has to be the pig later. When we’re done, we just tuck our napkins back into their markers and leave them in the yellow bowl. No fuss, no muss.

In the long term, it’s not a big deal, a small effort really. But as Mother Teresa once said, “We can do no great thing, but only small things with great love.”