Antiques, Vintage shopping

Vintage (and/or cheap) Holiday Gifts

There are about two days of online shopping left and one more flea market weekend before Christmas. I admit that this year, due to some major unexpected changes and events, we are really behind on the whole holiday thing. I purchased some Silk Holiday Nog a few days ago, draped one small string of lights over a bookcase, and went back to looking for work and caring for my laid-up husband.

Typically though, I’m a big fan of Christmas. I will probably buy a very small tree tomorrow and start to bring in some holiday spirit, because it is absolutely my favorite time of year. Although we’re not in a position financially to buy gifts this year, these are some of my past years’ greatest vintage gift ideas.

Sidenote: why vintage gifts? Same reason I wear vintage clothes and furnish our home with vintage furniture and art. I’m of the mind that reducing waste is good, appreciating history is good, and bringing new products into existence should be done only with good reason and process. And since making that determination is difficult with the lack of transparency involved in today’s global manufacturing landscape, I prefer to support the market and circulation of goods already in existence. Let’s move on.

For sports-type dads and dudes: vintage memorabilia.

My dad was a big sports guy, and specifically, he was inexplicably obsessed with the Dallas Cowboys. One year, I bought him a pennant and and old game program from the 60s and whoa was he stoked. He was also golf-obsessed, and there are a lot of fun/silly/cheap golf-related vintage goods out there. There are some old ticket stubs and press passes floating around on eBay that are also great little graphic design time capsules and could be collaged to tell the story of a team or player.

Cowboys vs Browns ticket stub, $16 on eBay; USC vs Navy ticket stub, $20 on eBay; Field photographer pass, $13 on eBay; 1972 press pass, $12 on eBay; Army vs Navy ticket stub, $40 on eBay.

For bakers, specifically pie enthusiasts

My husband likes to bake pies.  Last year I bought him a deep dish pie plate, as well as a cute vintage pie bird on eBay. Vintage cooking utensils are everywhere, and they’re cheap, and they’re useful. Put together a vintage pie kit and include a homemade spice blend and old family recipe.

Vintage metal pie plate, $10 on ebay; vintage ceramic pie vent, $40 on etsy (there are lots of cheaper ones on eBay, I just loved this one); vintage pie crust crimper with painted wood handle, $13 on eBay; 1940s rosewood handle pie server, $50 on etsy

For moms and girlfriends:

I love vintage accessories, yet I don’t often buy them for myself. Estate sales almost always offer some chic vintage gloves for a few bucks, and so do flea markets. It’s also pretty easy to find a necklace or bracelet online or in person.

For friends and neighbors:

Vintage board games. Snag a vintage Scrabble or monopoly board and start a neighborhood game night.

General things people seem to like:

Notebooks and vintage boxes. People always have more ideas, plans, and small objects than they know what to do with, so providing a place to put them is always welcome.

People like me:

Vintage fashion magazines. I adore Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar issues from the 40s and 50s.


Scanned, enlarged and framed family photographs. I inherited a lot of great photos from my grandmother, and my mom is always asking if she can have a copy. It’s not hard, but it takes a little time and effort, so now is a great time to make it happen. Sometimes you can even have these made locally instead of waiting for them to print and ship. This is the route we took this year… though there is one flea market left, so who knows?

Merry happy Christmas holiday giving!

in December 16, 2014

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