Thrift store treasures…a couple of mugs that taught us the true meaning of gift giving.


We always do a tiny Christmas in July event. But this is the first year I almost forgot about that. I was shocked when I told my husband we almost forgot about our Christmas in July. I will be doing a smaller version of that at the end of this month. Anyway, since we are on the subject, I thought I share with you all a Christmas gift I picked up for my husband last Christmas.

There was snow the day we drove up north for Christmas last year.

We had driven up to Our Little Red House the week before Christmas and stopped off at one of the thrift stores in town for me to pick up some last minute gifts. We always do the three gifts when we celebrate Christmas. One gift we call the gift from our hearts. It is anything we make by hand. It could be something we bake, draw, create,, write etc…but it has to be from our own two hands.

Handmade ornaments make the best gifts from the heart. I spent one early morning out in our garden making all kinds of ornaments to add to my sweet treat baskets.

Then there is the regular gift, that is just anything we buy new. And the third gift is what we call the green gift. The green gift is anything used or something repurposed we find out in the world. Green gifts can also be used books.

A second hand wreath I bought in the Spring. Just add different colored bows through out the seasons with one wreath, that way you don’t need to clutter your homes with too many. The best wreaths are real wreaths from out in nature.

That week before Christmas when we were headed up to that small town where our place is, we had a truck full of gifts and baskets of fresh baked cookies and beautiful cards to pass out to friends and neighbors up there. But I still needed a green gift for my husband.

So I made a quick stop at the thrift store and right up front were two really pretty coffee mugs. They looked hand made too. I grabbed them without looking them over too much because we were in a hurry to get up on the rim and didn’t want to be out there late at night. The drive can be a little scary high on the cliffs. It is also very beautiful, better to see during the daylight hours.

Miniature gingerbread houses were passed out to friends and neighbors last Christmas. I filled the insides of each tiny house with chocolate Santas and hazelnut cream.


I  remember holding the mugs in my hands and it just felt right. I knew they were the perfect gift for my husband, that he would love these coffee mugs. He would have coffee and I would have cocoa, sitting together with our favorite drinks. I don’t drink coffee. I know weird huh?. I do like those store bought fancy coffees my kids always buy. I call them milk shakes.So different from the black coffees my family used to drink after a night of hard parties.


Anyway, I love cocoa, so my mugs are always filled with hot chocolate. Later after my husband received his mugs Christmas morning he turned them over and saw the inscription on the bottoms which was John 3:16. I didn’t have my glasses on when I picked up these mugs before I purchased them. I never saw this.


There it was, the true meaning of what it means to give. A gift straight from the heart and wrapped in lots of love.


This little thrift store treasure was a real surprise after all.


Hope you all liked this months thrift store treasure. Happy second hand shopping everyone and Happy Christmas in July.


For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotton son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life.

John 3:16


Copyright Our Little Red House © 2020 Do Not Use Photos Without Written Consent of the Author



32 Comments Add yours

  1. ourcrossings says:

    I love reading about your thrift store treasures and I have to say these mugs are so beautiful! I love the colour and shape and the story behind it. Thanks so much for sharing and brightening up my day. I hope all is well 😊 Aiva

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Aiva, we are still hanging in there. Staying home mostly, except for food trips now and then. Might head up north to visit Our Little Red House. I need some trees, green and beautiful water. Some nature therapy I tell my kids.


  2. Rebecca says:

    I like the idea of the three gifts and the gingerbread houses are perfect. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, it is a fun way to celebrate Christmas and we do have a lot of fun thinking of different gifts for each category. Those tiny gingerbread houses were from a cookie cutter I bought last year at Costplus world market. It is just one big cookie cutter with all the little house pieces that you put together after baking. I bet they have them online somewhere in case you want to make some for your family. They are so cute.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. 🙂 🙂 what a wonderful idea for gifts with the 3 different kinds.What a sweet hug Gad gave you when hubby turned over the mugs 🙂 that is the kind of thing that will keep a smile on your face. 🙂 Merry Christmas in July. I bet you could probably whip up those fancy drinks the kids get at the shops. I have found just about every kind of recipe on google. Been investing a lot of time looking for ways to make my own stuff since I am all locked in with extra time on my hands hahaha 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m doing that as well. I wanted to design a sewing corning in my husband’s old office and I have had so much fun being creative with things around my home to use for storage. It is really colorful and I hope my daughter starts sewing more. She is the one that knows how to use the machine and she took design classes in college. I just sew little things by hand. It’s kind of fun being creative now with items in our home. I did do a little before but now I am stepping things up and really using what I have. I bet your coffee recipes are yummy too.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s interesting that you posted this today, on July 20. Every day I read from a devotional book that was published in 1991. The scripture for the July 20 devotion is John 3:16.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow…goosebumps. Guess God wanted ,me to write that one up for you all. I always feel that way, that we are directed to be with certain people, walk down a certain path and live our lives a certain way. When things seem too difficult, or people seem too difficult to be around even when we try so hard to connect, well, maybe that is just God trying to tell us we are going down the wrong path.
      I love thinking up what items I will post for each month’s thrift store treasures post and looking at those mugs one morning I knew this post would be the perfect post for everyone right now. With what is going on in the world, it is nice to remember what truly matters in the big picture of things. God is by our sides I always believe and he shows us signs all the time. Stay safe Linda, have a beautiful week and as always God Bless you all.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Isn’t God amazing! I have been having a lot of goosebumps moments lately.

        Right now, we are under a monsoon warning. But you know what? God’s got this, too! ❤❤

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes God is. I am having lots of goose bump moments too, lots of goosebump moments. In all the hate that is being shown on television and out in the world, it is a nice feeling when God shows us his love in those little moments through out our days.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. JOY journal says:

    🙂 I love your three-gift idea.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Makes it fun at Christmas time. We were never really big into over spending and going into debt with items we would probably not want a year later. So easy to get wrapped up in the holidays and all that comes with it. It should never be a time of stress but in some cases it turns out that way. I always enjoy watching old Christmas traditions from around the world. Everything was so simpler back then. My mother-in-law always tells us the story about how she always looked forward to an orange and chest nuts every Christmas when she was a little girl in Italy.


  6. I love your 3 gift idea, too! The coffee cups are gorgeous with the bible verse. A beautiful reminder every day. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Robin, the color blue on the mugs is so pretty in person.


  7. Those mugs are awesome. And guess what. I don’t drink coffee either.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes…another non coffee drinker. We are a rare breed. Everyone thinks I am weird for not drinking it. Those ice coffee drinks do taste yummy though but I rather just have a regular old vanilla shake.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. When I did try coffee I had to have a few drops with my milk and sugar. Then I developed a severe reaction to caffeine where I would break out in hives and be unable to breathe so that sealed the deal. But I didn’t really miss it anyhow. I guess I should have been born in England — I’m more of a tea drinker.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s scary, I am not allergic, just don’t care for the taste. You have to add alot of sugar and cream to make it enjoyable to me and that is why I just call those kinds of drinks milkshakes with a dab of coffee.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. They are a special gift 🎁 💙

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They are perfect for hot drinks.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Holly says:

    Oh, sweet friend, this entire post and the story behind it all truly touched my heart deeply! I adore your family’s 3-gift idea. What a wonderful way to share your heart and generosity! I can nearly imagine the smiles each of you must have on your faces each time you give (and receive) these precious gifts. The same goes for all of your friends and family who receive your precious gifts each year. I just love you & your heart!!

    I almost had goosebumps reading of how those mugs ‘felt right’ in your hand, but you had no idea John 3:16 was inscribed on the bottom. Wow, wow, wow. What a special gift indeed! Plus, those mugs are truly gorgeous. I don’t know who the artist was, but that certainly have a gift. God bless them for sharing the Gospel and their creativity!

    You are such a blessing, my friend. What a joy it is to come here every single time. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful and inspirational post. I’ll be sharing with others. ♥

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww Holly, you are always so sweet. Thank you. The artist who made those mugs is very talented that’s for sure. It was a nice surprise too when my husband showed me the inscription, that gave me goosebumps…just had to share that story with the world as they say. Hope you and your family are safe and living life everyday. Big air hugs to you all from Arizona and God bless you all.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Thinking of you my friend and wishing you and yours a beautiful day 💐 🌞 🏡 🌈 🐞 💖 🐷 🐖

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww…thank you. You have a beautiful day too. I wish I had more time to visit everyone here on WordPress, but I barely have time to check comments. Hope you are having fun with that Halloween spooky book of yours, I can’t wait for the Fall. This week we have a little break in temps so I am sweating out in our Arizona room cleaning it up some. I never finished painting the concrete floor and I decided to just get that done. Not fun in a room with no air conditioning with 100 degree temps. It really is a sauna. I am just about finished so that is nice.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sounds good about getting some cleaning done. There isn’t enough time is there xo

        Liked by 1 person

      2. No there never is. I always say I wish there were more hours in the day. Maybe all we need is some helpers.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Ah helpers! Good idea 💡


  11. cheriewhite says:

    Beautiful mugs, wreath, and yarn! And the gingerbread houses look delicious by themselves and with the chocolate Santas and hazelnut cream, I’d have quite a few eaten in no time! Hoping you have an awesome Wednesday!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. You would love those tiny house, the perfect size for a sweet treat. Hope you are having a great Wednesday too.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Whoops meant tiny baskets, so tired. Just got back from a 48 hour marathon of non stop chores. Had 4 hours of sleep in between each 24 hours. Went up north to do some repairs, had to take a different route back home to the city because there was an explosion from a train derailment in our route that we would have driven into if we would have left up north earlier when my husband wanted but I talked him out of it. While driving home the radio announced that an old bridge we have had for decades in our city collapsed and the carts on the train were burning. We saw in the sky in the distance smoke everywhere and knew there were probably chemicals on that train. They ended up closing the whole freeway so we are lucky we knew from the radio when we were on the road. That bridge was just inspected July 9th and everything was okay. They inspect it every 30 days. It has been up for decades, even before I was born I believe. During the holidays it is all lit up with beautiful lights. No one was hurt. A cyclist was riding her bike under it and barely escaped the explosion. My husband and I used to ride our bikes under the bridge when we were teenagers, it;s a beautiful and popular bridge. Now I am off to finish laundry and take a long nap. Crazy day for sure.


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