Op shop crops
Here is a list of things you may be looking for in op shops:
- Presents for people who like second hand things (and you may have some specifics here, like detective novels or pretty teacups)
- Christmas tins (if that’s the way your wrapping plan goes)
- Consider looking for trinkets for crackers if you’ll be making your own – little toys, a “diamond” necklace, a silver sugar spoon and so on
My daughter Hannah and her friend Lachlan give each other an op shop present every Christmas: last year she gave him a huge soft-toy palm tree and he gave her a foot stool painted like a ladybird with disconcerting googly eyes (and they both exclaimed that they couldn’t understand how the original owner could bear to part with such a treasure but they say that every year: it’s part of the ritual).
 My wheat-farming Aunt Betty liked wine glasses etched with ears of wheat which were fashionable back in the 60s and are fairly easy to find in op shops. (They’re also fairy easy to break, particularly if you have a tile floor in your kitchen and a husband more accustomed to handling sheep than stemware so Auntie Betty needed a constant supply of them and was happy for me to give her more every time I visited.)
 Or if you’ve got a lot of Yuletide ephemera and you need to control it.
 Hannah met Lachlan in her first year of uni and he’s my favourite of all her friends: smart but not pretentious, easy-going but not lazy, interested in everything in the world but he doesn’t ambush you with long tales of strange hobbies. She brought him home quite a lot in first year and when she started taking him to family gatherings, I smelled romance but she explained that he was a country boy who’d moved to the city for uni and was missing normal family life. We’ve seen Lachlan reasonably often ever since then and he improves on closer acquaintance. (Also, he often brings a dessert and, even though I’ve ratcheted my sugar intake back a few notches, that’s still a sure way to my heart.)