INDIANAPOLIS – I remember a time when Christmas shopping meant scouring the malls and shops for “just the right gift” for friends and family.
Painstaking hours were spent wrapping presents and topping them with bows and tiny adornments, creating a mass of small works of art under the tree. So, when did Christmas shopping turn into grabbing a hand full of plastic cards from a rack at the Kroger checkout?
This year, I decided to put a little more time and thought into my shopping. I found my inspiration at a recent Antique and Vintage Christmas Show. From 1970s flannel shirts and costume jewelry to primitive crocks and stacks of vinyl albums, it was obvious that the items from Christmas past appeal to all ages. Then it hit me. Maybe the way to recapture the joy of giving is to take a step back. So, first thing Monday morning I hit the vintage stores.
Starting with the women on my list, I headed for a local resale shop to check out the jewelry and accessories. For my youngest granddaughter, I found a clusters of brightly colored ‘50s Bakelite bangle bracelets; and for her sister, a rhinestone choker. Knowing how my cousin loves designer bags, I went straight to a Gucci satchel and I could not believe it was in my budget! For my daughter, there was a selection or bohemian cloth shoulder bags straight out of the ‘70s, so I grabbed one for her and one for myself!
My best friend loves to bake, so my next stop was a local antique mall where I found vintage cookbooks, mid-20th Century cookie cutters, and a solid wood rolling pin.
Definitely the hottest item for Christmas 2019 and flying off the shelves are the colorful nesting bowls and refrigerator dishes made in the 1960s and ‘70s by Pyrex. If a full set of nesting bowls at $180 is a little steep for you, purchase a couple of smaller pieces and start the recipient on the road to collecting!
To me, men are the hardest people on my list to shop for because when you ask them what they want for Christmas they inevitably say, “I don’t need anything.”
Determined it would not be another Christmas of ties and socks, I stopped by a secondhand bookstore/record shop. There I found rare and obscure books as well as classic old magazines like Mad, Look, Playboy and National Geographic.
Are there music lovers on the list? Fully reconditioned turntables from the ‘60s and ‘70s can be found in the $75 to $150 range, and vintage albums to go with them start as low as $4.
My nephew is planning a spring wedding and he and his fiance’s taste lean towards Mid Century Modern furnishings. Furniture from 1960 to 1980 is an easy find at decorator shops and antique malls, but for the budget-minded shopper make sure to check out the second-hand furniture stores where you will find savings of 40 to 60 percent. Unique accessory pieces such as lava lamps, bean bag chairs, retro lighting and wall decor are also readily available.
If you are still in doubt about what to give, I have discovered a gift that keeps on giving, vintage Christmas decorations. Bubble lights, glass character ornaments, paper mache Santas and boxes of old ornaments may be a little late for this year, but they will be used and cherished for years to come.
Until next time, Linda