Every single decoration, garland or ornament Vesta has used this year has been previously owned by someone else, and she bought everything from the Hospitality House Thrift Store.
“I started getting Christmas items from the thrift store in July,” she said. “It began with a beautiful nativity scene I saw there that’s now the centerpiece of the dining room table. After I bought that I decided I’d get all my Christmas decorations there. The Hospitality House does a lot of good work for women in our community, and this is my way of helping them do that.”
Vesta lives and works at Catherine Cottage on the Berry College campus. Students live at the cottage as well, and visitors stay there from time to time. So Vesta wanted to make the home as beautiful and inviting as she could this Christmas season. A large Christmas tree dominates the living room, glittering with lights and ornaments.
Brightly colored nutcracker dolls, deep green garlands and a variety of differently styled nativity scenes ensure that every part of the house reminds visitors of the holiday season.
But perhaps Vesta’s favorite spot in the house is an upstairs sun room where she has placed a white Christmas tree decorated with the lights and colors of Christmas.
“That tree was at the thrift store one day and I saw it there,” Vesta said, standing proudly beside the tree. “I heard a woman remark that it was ugly and she didn’t know who would ever want to buy something like that. Well I did. I thought it was beautiful.”
Thanks to the large windows of the sun room, drivers coming back to Berry’s main campus from the mountain campus can see the glittering lights of Vesta’s white tree as they pass the cottage.
The Hospitality House Thrift Store is located at 610 Shorter Ave., next to Red Lobster in the IGA shopping center. All the items sold at the store are donated by members of the community. Nothing is purchased by the store and nothing is sold on consignment. All monies received go directly to the Hospitality House, a shelter for women and children who are victims of domestic violence.
The store is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Vesta said many of her decorations were purchased on Thursdays when senior citizens get a 20 percent discount on their purchases.
So Vesta Salmon will proudly tell visitors where her decorations come from. She doesn’t care if they’re not this year’s latest trend in Christmas décor and she doesn’t care that they aren’t expensive and chic. All she cares about is that they are beautiful and they give her home a warm, welcoming feel.
She smiles proudly as she shows off the snowman cushion on the couch or the well-used rocking horse sitting in front of the tree. To her, these little items are made all the more special because of where she got them and because she knows they once brought beauty and Christmas cheer to homes across the community.”
“I don’t need any fancy new decorations,” she said. “These things are just as beautiful as anything else that costs a lot of money. And it’s important to me to help the Hospitality House. They help women in need. This is my little way of doing my part.”