How I bought goats, went thrifting, and decorated for a Very Hipster Christmas.

God Bless us, everyone. Even my wine rack.

It’s always nice when you can help someone buy a goat. Nothing quite says “Merry Christmas” like something with hooves that can give you delicious milk for making a slightly tart cheese. Yesterday I finally redeemed a Kiva gift card that I had purchased for my family last year for Christmas. For those of you who are unfamiliar, Kiva is a microfinance charity that helps loan money to people in need. The idea is that if you can help people develop their own businesses, the impact of helping that person will be much bigger and more sustainable in the long run than just giving them a one-time donation. You create more lasting change in the world and people’s lives. So yesterday, my family loaned money to a woman named Nadia (the little nugget to the right) from Lebanon. She has her own farm where she raises goats to sell goats milk. She also sells olive oil. As my family has a strong love for both things (and small adorable Lebanese women, i.e. my Grandmother) we thought she was the perfect person to help out! Now she can buy more goats to increase her capacity and better support her family.

Still in the Christmas spirit after buying some goats, I waddled over to a thrift store yesterday called Out of the Closet. Yes, there is a pun intended in the name. It’s a thrift store that funds free HIV/AIDS screenings with the money they make from all the crazy thrifters that shop at the store. I’m not much one for thrift store shopping, mainly because I’ve convinced myself that the only reason someone would get rid of a Christmas sweater that awesome is because they accidentally peed on it or something. But, being the giving person that I am (and the cheap person that I am), I decided this would be the best place to find an ugly Christmas sweater and help out a few people in the process. I found this sweater vest/jacket thing, like the kind your elementary school teacher bought at C.J. Banks that has a waist tie and everything. It has Christmas trees on it, and a big ol’ reindeer on the back. In addition I found a $5 pair of those Abercrombie & Fitch sleep pants that have the mooses on them. Mooses? Moose? The pants have many a moose on them. And lastly I found a backgammon set like the one we had when I was a kid, for only $8. Now I just need to throw a Christmas party to wear all my cool finds and break in that backgammon set!

Knowing full well that no Christmas party was going to happen in my apartment in its current state, I finally finished putting up all my decorations. This also meant I cleaned my apartment, including vacuuming it for the first time since I moved in over six months ago. I know, I’m quite the neat freak. My apartment looks nice and clean now, not to mention festive. You walk in and think, “wow, how lovely! Where’s your backgammon set?” I tried to make my tree look as much like something you might find in Anthropology as possible, but you can only do so much on a budget. Those woolen ornaments cost almost as much as a goat. I thought I’d share some pictures of the decorations before I sign out:

I took all the remaining branches that I cut off the bottom of the tree and made a makeshift wreath around my wine rack. Tis the season to be merry, and also a little tipsy.

This is supposed to be a penguin, I think… it could also be an owl. Or a Japanese anime character. Or maybe an Angry Bird? The point is he’s awkward-looking, and thus needs to be on my tree, little red scarf and all.

I got really excited in Target when I saw this Russian nesting doll ornament. She looks so happy. I was just upset they didn’t have four more of them, each getting progressively smaller in size until there’s one that’s as small as a thimble. Come on Target, don’t you know anything about nesting dolls???

And yes, just like half of my wardrobe, even my ornaments are plaid. It wouldn’t be a Very Hipster Christmas without a healthy helping of plaid. Maybe next year they’ll be made out of flannel fabric, too!

Ciao Bella!

Matteo Yazge

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