Those 70ish girls…Is it okay for Santa to bring used stuff?

On at least two occasions, Jolly old St Nicholas brought used merchandise to my house. I think I know why. He is a wise Santa and he knew the thing I just had to have was only a momentary desire that would pass in a flash…hardly worth the investment of the new version of whatever I had my heart set on.

An older version of the the younger me with Mom.
I never did learn how to sew

There is a very good reason why I can’t sew, knit, iron, cook, or clean house. Murdo High School did not offer a home economics class. Believe me…the world is full of challenges if you are one of the unfortunate few like me, who was never availed the opportunity to take home economics.

The funny thing is…I wasn’t embarrassed or offended when I got something used. Once I got a pre-owned sewing machine. It was a real clunker too. I remember setting it up on a big table in the open area of the basement house. I also remember sitting there with my dress pattern, my pink fabric and a zipper, wondering what to do next. Mom had asked me if I wanted some help. I soon regretted my impulsive answer. “I can do it by myself!! There’s nothing to it!”

After sitting there for a while and ripping out several miss-placed rows if stitches, I decided being a seamstress was not my calling. Mom made me stick with it and even got our neighbor, Roni Poppe, to try and teach me how a sewing machine worked. I think Mom was still smarting because Mrs. Theisen told my cousins and me that the Sanderson girls never did learn how to do anything useful. I finally finished the pink dress. I never could get one of the sleeves in correctly. I had to hold one arm back like I was about to throw a bowling ball for it to hang right.

Mom sold the pink bowling dress at a rummage sale.

Thankfully, I was able to teach myself how to make chocolate chip cookies.

I’m not sure about what happened to that used sewing machine. The table it sat on was in the way everywhere you went in the house. Maybe Mom sold it with the bowling dress.

The next used thing I got was a stereo. That probably should have been new, but at the time, I didn’t question why Santa decided to find me a good used one. I’m sure he runs across good used stuff all of the time. It only had a few scratches and it was on a new stand with rollers. I think my parents regretted Santa’s choice, because it was a year before I could afford to get any new albums. I got two from Billy for Christmas and I played them over and over again. One was the Kingston Trio and the other was Ray Charles. For some reason I really got attached to his song, “I’m Busted.” Not so long ago, I even sang it at Gus’ American Legion Club karaoke night. I knew the words, but apparently, they didn’t have the music in my key. You don’t get a do-over at the American Legion, anyway.

It’s been fun to reminisce about Santa’s second hand gifts. I guess I come by my enjoyment of shopping at resale stores, honestly. Mom used to bring me things she purchased at garage sales. She told me she only went to those in RICH neighborhoods. I appreciated that. It must be difficult to find people who live in RICH neighborhoods who feel the need to get rid of things for a dollar.

Mrs. Theisen was wrong. Our moms passed on lots of useful things.