Auctioning Christmas to the Highest Bidder
November 18, 2020 by Kirk Lieske
This article may seem a bit self-serving as I’ll be making the case to buy things at auction from Rusty by Design. But by the last paragraph I hope you’ll find that it’s Rusty by Design trying to serve you.
You have the daunting task of finding the “perfect gift” for everyone on your list. Daunting was 2019. Nigh on impossible is 2020. It’s been a year alright. COVID quarantine. Masks. Shortages. Business closures. Lay offs. Remote schooling. NBA Playoffs in a “bubble”. Chaos and confusion are the order of the day…year.
The perfect gift is only the tip of the holiday preparation iceberg. What about decorations, entertaining, special menu, clothes, cleaning and fun activities? Where are you going to go to get everything you need to help “make the season bright”?
Ahem. I have a suggestion. It’s not EBay or Amazon or any corporate big box store, though they have their place. Bless their hearts. No, I’m thinking about a Texas-based business. It’s a local business. A family-owned and run business. It’s Rusty by Design. (Obviously). In our auctions you can find the gifts and other supplies you’ll need to make the season special, in spite of the chaos & confusion. For a fraction of what you’d spend retail and for similar–if not superior–quality. Buy local and save $$$. Big win!
I scanned the lots currently listed in our auctions for items that could help you in your holiday preparations and gift giving. I decided to make a list of things that fit the bill. I divided the list into those categories I mentioned above. In short order it was four pages long. It could have been longer, but my hand cramped. (I still use paper and pen. I’m a dinosaur.) I’d like to address each of the categories and offer a few suggestions.
The first category is Decorations. For the front lawn there are 101 Dalmatian cut outs, 10 of them nicely painted and in good condition. There are also blow molded Santas, snowmen, candy canes and lighting by the bin. For inside there are pre-lit trees, Dept. 56 ornaments, angels, candles, crosses and nativities. In fact, you can’t swing a cat by the tail in our auctions without hitting some kind of Christmas decorative lot. (Disclaimer: “swing a cat by the tail” is only a figure of speech”. It is not a recommended activity nor has anyone employed by or associated with Rusty by Design engaged in such an action.)
Let’s move on to the second category: Food/Menu/Table Setting. A biggie. We have you covered like paint on a wall. From Southern Living cook books to MCM ice buckets to Corning Ware baking dishes. Pampered Chef pans and Fostoria green goblets. Blue Willow. Flatware. Crocheted, embroidered and cotton table linen, napkin holders, china, centerpieces. So, so much. I’m looking for that cat to swing there’s so much.
Moving on to clothes. Special occasions call out for new duds. At RBD you can buy “off the rack” or closet as it were. We have plenty of clothes for men & women in all sizes for all occasions. Including outerwear. And we also have accessories. Hats, shoes, scarves, ties, belts and JEWELRY. It is its own category, but I’ve included it here with clothes to suggest that often the accessory makes the outfit. But to take this category in another direction, you might want to make your own outfit. We certainly have the sewing machines, patterns, notions and fabric to get you started. Think of the pride you can take in having made it yourself. Think of the large amounts of money not charged to your credit card for that designer dress in the window at Nordstrom’s. Just sayin’.
So now the house is decorated, we’re dressed to the nines (another figure of speech) and we’ve been wined & dined. In my family games/entertainment come after dinner. Again, Rusty by Design has the inventory you’re looking for. We have music, movies, electronics, musical instruments, gaming systems, board games and poker chips. Plenty to engage and entertain family and guests.
That leaves only two categories left for me to address. First is Gifts. Nearly everything we sell could be used as a gift. Some are just easier to wrap than others. Many fall into the category of a traditional gift. Gucci and Coach purses, power tools, Disney figurines, Hot Wheels, candles, toys, Lalique glass, JEWELRY. Some are less traditional. Not everyone on your list is going to enjoy receiving a pair of vintage white Go-Go boots. Or a Bruce Jenner Olympics trading card. 35mm film camera. Western bronze. Abstract oil on canvas that looks like someone hit it with a swinging cat.
But that’s the beauty and the fun of it! Take a few minutes to mull over our lots. Maybe have a hot buttered rum (if you are of legal age) and allow your creative side to make connections. You’ll begin to see gifts that suit your son, your neighbor, your pastor, your mother-in-law (Hey! Put down that knife! HaHaHaHa!) You’ll have “AHA” moment after “AHA” moment. That old hammered copper watering can would be perfect for the neighbor who loves to garden. That antique fire extinguisher for the first responder on your list. A set of DIY books for your husband (hint, hint). A lacy, red boudoir lamp for your wife (hint, hint). You get the idea. We have gifts. You make them great gifts. Gifts that will ignite surprise, imagination and conversation. Those things, I’m told, strengthen bonds. What a nice thought. Who wants more pie?
The final category I want to cover is Charity. This is the season to reach out to help those who need a bit of help. (If you’re a Scrooge like me, you might be new to this and tempted to beat yourself up for not being more charitable. Don’t.) My advice is the same advice many entrepreneurs get when starting out: Find a need and fill it! Look across the fence or across an ocean. Doesn’t matter. Wherever your heart steers. Whatever shows up on your radar. That’s who you should help. You may find that Rusty has something to help you meet a need. If you neighbor happens to need a dining room table or a bed, for instance, we have plenty. The point is to help in the way THEY need help. Whether you buy something from us to do it or not is not important. Just do it! (I stole that line from Nike.) It may cost a few dollars. You can spare it. It may not. Sometimes what’s needed is just your presence.
Merriest of Merry Christmases to you & yours from Rusty by Design.