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Holiday Gift Ideas from Goodwill

by Sarah Pavia

When it comes to the holidays, we all know how crazy things can get and how finding time to buy gifts can not only get overwhelming but costly.  That's where Goodwill comes in.  The holidays are a time for giving back, and being thankful. By shopping at Goodwill this holiday season for any needs (gifts, decorations, outfits, and more!) you are:

  • being budget conscious
  • giving back to your local community through dollars spent and donations given
  • finding creative and unique items as gifts for others - whether new or gently used

Unsure of how to factor Goodwill into your holiday shopping time?  Here are some ideas to get you going - all from one store, so imagine the possibilities if you were to visit a few of our sites!


Gift Idea One: Picture Frames

Who doesn't love pictures at the holiday time?  But frames can get costly - of all different sizes.  At Goodwill we have smaller frames, mid-range, and even larger frames which can cost you upwards of $100 from a retailer!  Simply buy the frame and keep the artwork in as is (instant gift!) or pop out the artwork and use the frame for a 16x20 print of your family portrait.  Other ideas for framing:
- Child's artwork
- Printing off free artwork online you can download (even quotes!)
- Wedding photos, new or old!
- Framing a canvas of a painting

If you're looking for a great bargain, companies like Shutterfly (and even Walgreens!) offer many discounts this time of year for free pictures of all sizes.  Combine that with your Goodwill priced frame and you have a beautiful gift for more than a fraction less of the cost (and you helped out a fellow community member by shopping!)



Gift Idea Two: Picnic Getaway


In any of our stores you can bet you'll stumble across the glassware aisle and find a beautiful set of drinking glasses.  

Better yet, if you hit up our wicker area you're bound to find a cute gift basket.  The past few weeks alone we've seen a picnic basket at almost every location we've gone to - it's the gift that keeps on giving!


Combine the basket with two pairs of glasses, of any type (these were both $1.99 a piece!).  For less than $10 you have a beautiful new picnic set.  Then head over to our home section and look for a quality blanket that can be used for the ground, and put together you have a whole set for that special someone in your life, a pair of newlyweds, or those parents that could use a date day out.  Additionally if you're feeling very creative you can do a quick visit to any local grocer and throw in some discounted snacks to help get the picnic started!  Picnic baskets like these can retail for $50+, so we appreciate our gently used donations such as these that help our customers find great deals, while giving back to the community.  

Gift ideas at Goodwill?  You got it, and we've got so many options to show you!  And while you're at it, venture into any of our locations and see all that we have to offer.  With a little creativity, Goodwill can go a long way!


If you're unsure of holiday gift ideas, outfit combinations for events, ugly sweaters, or anything else related to this time of year - you can always reach out to Sarah Pavia of our Communications Team at  She'd love to help you brainstorm!


Gift Idea Three: Fun for Children!

Books, stuffed animals, puzzles, dolls galore!  Items and toys new in package?  We have that too!  Brand new, never opened items that would make great stocking stuffers.  Books, in collections or series, even!  You never know what you can find on our shelves from our New and Donated Goods.  And at our prices, you can find affordable options for gifts for the whole family.  

Even if you're looking for a board game for a family night, a cookbook or fiction novel, we have those too.  Maybe your favorite grandma is a stuffed animal collector - well you're in luck! Stop on by today to see what we have. Here's just a sampling of all the goodies just waiting to be found!



Gift Idea Four: Clothing!

We know, we know - who wants clothing for the holidays? But there are plenty of great options for stocking stuffers, gift add-ons, or just general needs as we get further into the cold winter months.  Men, women, and children are all covered with our New Goods selection!

Gift Idea Five: DIY Fun!


Popcorn bucket? Just grab a movie from our movie section, and popcorn from your local grocer.  Voila!


Holiday Decor?  Fill a vase or large glass with ornaments, both from our stores, and you instantly have a centerpiece or display item for yours or that special someone's home!


Cookie jar?  Bake some cookies then put them in a beautiful glass jar like this!


Mug? We've got plenty.  Fill with a packet of hot chocolate or her favorite candy - cute and ready gift for your mom!


Furniture lover?  Thrift some of our amazing furniture donations, and gift to your favorite crafty DIY-er.  They'll love the chance to upcycle!



Gift Idea Six: Style & Fashion!

Whether you're looking for that full golf outfit, a themed holiday or fancy tie, or a nice scarf - we've got you covered.  Great selection, fashionable styles - at everyday low pricing! Look great, and do GOOD by shopping at Goodwill!

On top of this there are plenty of other ideas.  Sporting goods, DIY baskets (throw in some wine glasses, some artwork, and then go buy some snacks - you're good to go!)  The options are limitless!  Visit our floral aisle, grab a wreath, and make a fun arrangement.  Mix and match items for a great project that's personal.  Don't forget to check for designer brands too, like these Michael Kors shoes.  You're sure to wow anyone!

While these are just ideas to get you going, the list of holiday gifts (or for any time of year!) is endless.  Whether you're looking for something that's wrapping paper ready, a gift that can be a fun DIY project, or something unique that is sure to wow that special someone - we have no doubt we can help.  If you need inspiration, as we've said you can contact Sarah at at any time for assistance.  We'll even come to the store to help you find inspiration!


We thank you for considering Goodwill of the Finger Lakes this holiday season.  Every time you shop or donate with us, you are doing so much GOOD for the local community in the Syracuse and Rochester regions.  Workforce development, mission program support, services for those with low vision, support of our 2-1-1 crisis support line...and the list goes on and on.  Feel great this holiday season knowing you found that special gift in our store, and helped support a local not-for-profit right here in your community.


Happy shopping!