It’s warm and dry inside ALI Thrift Shop!

It’s January.  The sky is gray.  The weather is cold.  Your plants look bedraggled.  The holidays are over, and you miss the excitement, the food, and the decorations.  What can you do about your gloomy mood?

We have the answer:  come to the ALI thrift shop! It’s warm inside! Our volunteers are friendly and cheerful! Our CUSTOMERS are friendly and cheerful! You can check out our stylish clothing, shoes, and purses; enjoy the artwork we have for sale; or browse through our craft section for a new project.  We have recent magazines for 50 cents each (compare THAT to the prices at the supermarket checkout counter), and books that will take your mind off the January weather.  And just looking at our toy department will make you smile.  You might even take home a stuffed animal buddy to keep you company!

If you’re one of those people who LOVE chilly temperatures and overcast skies, come to the thrift shop too. We have winter jackets!  We have woolly scarves!  We have mugs for hot cocoa!

However you feel in January, you’ll feel better after a trip to the thrift shop. Come in and visit us soon!   

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3 Tips to SHARE THE THANKSGIVING SPIRIT

Thanksgiving is approaching, and this is when all the kindergarteners dress up like Native Americans and Pilgrims and re-enact the story of Plymouth Rock and the First Thanksgiving.   In our busy lives, where Thanksgiving seems to be all about food, football, and shopping, we need to keep focused on that kindergarten message: Share what you have.

Share your food. Invite your family and friends to join in your Thanksgiving meal. Whether it’s a traditional American menu of turkey and pumpkin pie, or food from your home culture, or dinner at a restaurant, or a picnic at the park, sharing food is an ancient ritual that brings us together. Donate to one of the many food-based charities (Second Harvest Food Bank, Families Forward, church and school food drives) to share your food with those in need.

Share your energy. Help a colleague with a project at work, run an errand for a sick neighbor, play with your kids. Volunteer in your community – there are hundreds of opportunities, whether it’s a one-day event or an ongoing commitment. (We’d love to have you join us at Assistance League of Irvine!)

Share your love. Hug your family. Call a relative you haven’t spoken to in a while. Compliment people. Smile at the checkout person at the grocery store and the kid who’s collecting carts in the parking lot. Wave at the postman. Say “thank you” to restaurant servers. In fact, say “please” and “thank you” whenever you can!

Wishing all our readers a Happy Thanksgiving from ALI!  

It’s beginning to look a lot like the holidays!

All of us at ALI have been busy the past few days, stocking our thrift shop with all the Christmas, Hanukkah, and Thanksgiving items we’ve been storing all year.  And we’ve got a UNANIMOUS VERDICT from our members: “THIS IS THE BEST STUFF WE’VE EVER HAD!”

Now it takes a LOT to get an opinion like that from our members, who have all seen enough holiday merchandise over the years to be experts.  Think of us as the “Dancing with the Stars” judges of Christmas ornaments, tablecloths and napkins, and holiday clothing. We’re giving our stuff this year a UNANIMOUS 10!

Holiday items will be waiting for you in the shop starting Wednesday, November 7th.  Come in and see why we’re so excited. You can’t win the mirror ball, but you CAN go home with beautiful holiday things at an incredible price!

PUMPKINS, PUMPKINS, PUMPKINS

It’s October – and that means pumpkin patches and corn mazes.  (And baseball playoffs!) In spite of Irvine’s agricultural heritage, there aren’t many actual fields of pumpkins or corn left any more.  Our suburban substitutes, pumpkin patches and corn mazes, don’t have quite the same sense of working the farm to harvest the crops.   (On the other hand, they sell food and have lots of parking.)  Both pumpkins and corn originally came from Mexico, and were known as early as 10,000 – 7,000 BC.  No wonder we feel nostalgic when pumpkins start to show up at the grocery store!

Pumpkins have become favorite fall decorations in recent years.  We’ve got LOTS of pumpkin-themed items at the ALI thrift shop – ceramic pumpkins, Halloween pumpkins, pumpkin candlesticks, pumpkin tabletop decor, you name it.  Come in and check out our fall merchandise, because it won’t last.  And once you’ve filled your home with pumpkins, corn stalks, and red-and-gold fall leaves, enjoy the playoffs!

      

DO YOU NEED DECORATIONS? WE’VE GOT ‘EM!

It’s the end of September, and we all know what that means.  We’ve come to that point in the year that we all dread.  NO,  not back-to-school.  Everyone is HAPPY about back-to-school. The little kids are no longer underfoot all day, and the big kids are no longer sitting around eating all your food.  No – we’re talking about an activity that strikes fear into all our hearts.  It’s – TIME TO LOOK FOR THE HOLIDAY DECORATIONS! Yes – all those holidays.  Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year’s.  Plus plain old Fall and Winter.

I’m convinced that someone could develop an entire reality TV show competition about searching for the decorations.  Are they in the garage? In the rafters of the garage? In the attic? In that bedroom where you’re keeping all the boxes you never unpacked when you moved in five years ago? You can remember writing down the place where you put them on a piece of paper, but now you can’t find the piece of paper.  You can remember putting a note in your phone, but you just got a new phone and the “notes” section didn’t transfer over.  About the only thing you can be sure of, because very, very few of us have basements, is that they’re not in the basement.

Many of us, after looking for a couple of days, simply give up and decide to buy NEW decorations, year after year.  It’s not a defeat! It’s an opportunity! Over the next three months, the ALI thrift shop will have an ABSOLUTELY AMAZING SELECTION OF HOLIDAY DECORATIONS! You can find anything you want, for any holiday you want, at a fantastically low price.  And the money you spend with us goes right back to our community.

If you find your decorations, more power to you! But if you don’t, you know where to go for new ones!

OUR FABULOUS FALL EVENT IS COMING ON TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 11!

It’s September! The kids are back in school.  The days are getting shorter.  Somewhere in the world, leaves are turning red.  And that means only one thing! It’s time for the FABULOUS FALL EVENT at the ALI thrift shop!

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11 is the day – a special TUESDAY SHOPPING DAY! At 10 am our doors will open to show you our fantastic fall fashions and decor.  Tops, pants, and sweaters in fall styles and colors.  Fall-themed housewares and table linens.  Fall purses and shoes.  Fall scarves.  Fall cookbooks.  Fall everything! Plus – HALLOWEEN COSTUMES! We’ll be open from 10 am to 3 pm, so you’ll have FIVE WHOLE HOURS to start your fall shopping.

Remember, you only have a LIMITED TIME to celebrate fall before the calendar turns to winter and the holidays.  Make the most of fall with the help of the thrift shop!

I’m ‘Not Shopping’ – no really….

Today’s story is about . . . Not shopping. Notice we didn’t say “Never shopping.” This IS, however, a story about the ALI thrift store. We WANT you to come in and shop with us. (We’d especially like some readers to come in and buy all those winter coats and ski jackets that people donated to us after their once-in-a-lifetime trip to see the snow in Big Bear.)

But you don’t need to shop 24 hours a day. This is the holiday season of Christmas and Hanukkah, and even if you’re not particularly religious, a time to take stock of where you are in life as the new year approaches. “Not shopping” means spending time during the holidays with your family, your friends, and those in need of help. “Not shopping” means reaching out to others with love and attention, letting them know you’re glad they’re a part of your life. It means spending a morning serving meals at a homeless shelter, instead of endlessly circling the parking lot at the mall. It means simply taking a long walk along the beach, or on one of Irvine’s urban trails, and reflecting on the beauty of the natural world.

We know you’ll still be looking for that perfect gift (which is why you need to come to the thrift store), but try to make “not shopping” part of your holidays this year.