Snowline Hospice, established in 1979, is a nonprofit, community-based organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of those with chronic and serious illnesses and aiding patients nearing end-of-life. A good care provider and one I almost went to work for some years back.
The establishment runs 5 different thrift stores in two counties locally with the first weekend of the month dedicated to a store-wide half off sale. Except this particular weekend, which is their Holiday Extravaganza, a much anticipated event filled to the brim with everything Yuletide-esque. In anticipation, Snowline closes early Friday and reconfigures the entire store, filling it with Christmas trees, decorations, cards, lights, figurines, table runners, wreaths, clothing, knick knacks, toys ... you get the idea. Truly, there are some nifty items to be oogled over. It's a Christmas lovers dream ... or at least lovers of those who wish to rummage through and purchase holiday decor on the cheap.
Just as equally, there are those Christmas oddities that catch your eye ... and not necessarily in a good way.
But that's part of the fun of heading out to a thrift store, isn't it? And garage sales. And storage unit auctions. And estate sales. It is for me at any rate. Because there's some funky, funky stuff out there waiting to be considered at these places. And it's no different at the Snowline Hospice.
It's not only used items for purchase. There is a bevy of new stuff, too - unopened, still sealed, pristine treasures and otherwise. This little venture offered the acquisition of a few interesting tchotchkes, some figurines and what I like to call a Creepy Santa nutcracker.
Said nutcracker is charming in a manner of speaking. As soon as I saw it, it called to me. On closer inspection, I know why.
There's an element of crazed madness behind the bared teeth, wispy hair and slightly skewed beard. He's got an air of dishevelment about him. Animals beneath the folds of Santa's cloak are rather revealing in an odd way, too. The wolf has got a sinister smile. The deer possesses a definite "deer in the headlights" look about it. One bunny is on its haunches and appears to be begging to be released from its jolly old captor. Even the dove at the top of Santa's staff looks as if it's ready to take flight and flee.
Regardless, this nutcracker will be positioned somewhere between the many, many others in the household. And I'm certain it will fit comfortably among them.
I just hope it doesn't unexpectedly come alive in the middle of the night and go on some murderous spree.
Thanks, Snowline Hospice Holiday Extravaganza.