[Editor’s note: Merry Christmas! This week, we’re taking time off to focus on our loved ones, so we are sharing some of our favorite stories from this year. Keep an eye out for our top features from the archives as we rest and get ready for a brilliant 2018! Cheers, from Candy and the entire staff at CandysDirt.com!]

From Jon Anderson: Too many think of December as the month to start counting their Santa haul. How about helping those less fortunate and yourself?  earlier in 2017 I urged you to check out Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore shops.  You can donate to ReStore for the tax write-off and buy from ReStore for bargains to help you make your home more homey. That’s a win-win regardless of your beliefs this time of year.

Sometimes it kills me to watch HGTV.  Eager beaver renovators gleefully rip through their home with sledgehammers ablaze without a thought that some of what they’re splintering could be reused. Sure the cabinets aren’t spankingly trendy and the appliances aren’t stainless, but for someone without, they’re precious.

When I gutted my 1960s home, I called ReStore.  They’re a division of Habitat for Humanity that takes donations of furniture, appliances and construction materials from individuals and businesses and resells them in their stores. Donors get a tax write-off and a lighter conscience.  Someone renovating their house on a shoestring gets some bargains.  Someone else gets housing from Habitat for Humanity.