It all started during the economic downturn in 2008, when frustrated parents told us they could not afford to buy the cherished classics they found under the tree when they were kids.
That’s when we rolled up our sleeves and got to work.
Our Prueter Library “bookies” (volunteers who sort, clean and price used books) started to set aside a selection of gently-used donations that would provide an affordable alternative (under $1) to cash-strapped parents and grandparents.
And since it is better to give than to receive, the Port Hueneme Friends of the Library also scoured their jewelry boxes, closets, toy chests, DVD collections and garages in search of nearly-new yet gift-quality treasures that youngsters might buy for less than a quarter or two.
Those of us staffing the sale tables look forward to assisting the young people who show up with a long list of people to buy for and a fistful of quarters. We not only assure them that their allowance will cover their purchases but also provide bags so that Mommy and Daddy (who are still busy shopping) will be suitably surprised come December 25.
In addition, the naming of the “white elephant in the room” has become an unexpected tradition as well. Each year we find an item that we, collectively, are quite positive will never find a buyer—at least not somebody in his or her right mind.
The most memorable, by far, was a toilet plunger decorated in appropriate greenery for St. Patrick’s Day. Sure enough, an adult and her two offspring snapped it up—allowing that it would be ideal for an unsuspecting Irish relative.
So whether you’re focused on the wearin’ or the savin’ of the green this holiday season, the Port Hueneme Library is the place to be on Saturday December 5 from noon to three. The event is only open for three short hours so come early for the best bargains. And bring a fistful of quarters.