Former Et Cetera Shop
When I think of Christmas at Et Cetera Shop, “Virgin Resin Snowmen” is the first thing that comes to mind. Virgin resin – I don’t remember exactly how that started. I think my coworker Deb thought of it actually. It’s a reference to that manmade material that many knick-knacks are made of these days. During my eight years working at Et Cetera Shop, I saw a lot of that stuff. We’d sarcastically call them Virgin Resin just to make them seem more special.
The backroom donation receiving area can get kinda crazy, so it’s either joke about things like that or lose. your. mind.
And you see a lot of virgin resin at Christmas. If it’s not virgin resin snowmen, it’s virgin resin Santas, virgin resin ornaments of a dog with a soccer ball…you get the idea.
So, in the back room, sorting through donations of virgin resin snowmen that come in (even in July – those things don’t melt – part of the allure, I guess), it can get overwhelming. Who really needs all that? Why do they keep manufacturing more? Aren’t there already enough virgin resin snowmen in the world?
Still, now that I’m six hours away and can’t be at Et Cetera every day I miss my virgin resin friends – but only the Et Cetera kind. That’s the important part: the Et Cetera kind. Why? Well, first off, if you’re buying them at Et Cetera then you aren’t encouraging manufacturers to make more. Eventually they will end up in the landfill. I highly doubt they’ll decompose if they won’t even melt in a Kansas July.
Also, at Et Cetera they are cheap. A kid can buy one on a kid’s budget – “it’s the thought that counts!” You can nestle one on top of your fancy gift-wrapped package to your sister, and not break the bank. You can love it for a season…if it speaks to you like that Pier One commercial, great…and if it quits speaking to you, you can bring it back to Et Cetera for someone else to love for awhile.
That is what I like best about Et Cetera merchandise. Everything has a story and history and you are adding another chapter to its life when you bring it home. Virgin Snowman, Part Deux.
Now I’m in a whole different state with no Et Cetera Shop nearby. We have a pretty good little thrift store here, and I hope to volunteer after my baby’s in preschool and I have more time. I do miss that back room madness. We’re in a smaller community and it’s a much smaller store than Et Cetera. That means fewer virgin resin snowmen. I went in the Community Cupboard the other day and had a little panic. Where were they? I miss the little guys. What if I need a little something to nestle in my gift of peppernuts for Elsie’s piano teacher? What if I just need a little warm fuzzy and don’t want to spend a bunch of money on something at the fancy home decor store down the street. Virgin Resin Snowmen, you are special to me. I miss you and Et Cetera Shop!
You folks in the Newton Et Cetera community have got it made…the largest selection of name brands in town, plus virgin resin snowmen galore. You keep donating and buying, and I’ll keep dreaming.