By Paula Kirwan
As the song goes, “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas . . . “, and of course, the holidays are almost upon us. It’s the time of year for enjoying wonderful evenings at festive dinners and holiday parties. When the invitations arrive, you’ll probably start thinking about the gift you’ll want to bring to the host and hostess in appreciation for being included in their lovely event.
Gaslamp Antique and Decorating Mall offers many one-of-a-kind treasures from which to choose. You can find something unique, interesting and memorable to bring to your hosts, so get your creative juices flowing. You can also use the following ideas to help you select a gift that will be cherished and remembered:
*A vintage candy dish or bone china cup and saucer filled with M&M’s, Jordan almonds or candied pecans, and wrapped in cellophane with a bow (photo, right, courtesy of realsimple.com).
*A set of silver or crystal candlesticks topped with honeycomb beeswax candles.
*Vintage table linens with modern napkin rings. Try "Aunt Enid's Attic" at Booth B-110 for unique linens that make lovely gifts.
*Silver sugar spoon with a box of sugar cubes. Showcase B-512 is silver heaven for anyone after such a token of good taste.
*Monogrammed spreader knives, which can be found in the front showcases. These are relatively inexpensive, at $8 to $10 each, and the monogram adds a special touch. They can be used for anything – cheese, pâté, spreads, and more. Just tie a bow around one and put it in a small gift bag.
*A hand-painted bowl filled with fruit.
*A vintage basket -- such as a folksy egg basket -- filled with scented soaps. Both can be found at GasLamp. The charming egg basket, photo left, is from Booth B-2012 ($24). And Booth B-114 has a sweeping variety of wonderful handmade soaps in scents such as cucumber, chili pepper, lemon, twigs & berries, blue bonnet and pink grapefruit.
*A crystal or silver vase with fresh flowers (milk glass vase in photo, right, $20; Booth B-110).
*A china plate filled with homemade cookies and wrapped in cellophane.
*A vintage drinking glasses or pitcher with a tin of herbal tea.
*Some etched crystal wine glasses (even 2 or 4 would work) with a nice bottle of wine.
*A vintage cookbook with a good recipe earmarked; attach a bottle of one of the spices required for the dish. GasLamp Books, the store within a store located behind the showcase area, features a wall of cookbooks, including those from various regions and those by Junior Leagues across the country (photo, below left).
*A vintage casserole dish with the recipe for your famous mac-and-cheese.
*A decorative ceramic box containing movie tickets.
*A couple of vintage handkerchiefs tucked into a decorative tin box. Try Booth B-209 for a selection of colorful hankies.
If your hosts have special hobbies, Gaslamp can provide something special to complement their interests. Is your host a fisherman? Look for vintage fishing lures. If your hostess sews, old patterns or sewing notions are novel ideas. Do your hosts collect china? If so, look for a pretty dish to add to their collection. If they into modern décor, Mid-century Modern pieces from the '50s and '60s go well with contemporary styles. Are they avid readers? There are many unique and interesting books available in the various booths, as well as at GasLamp Books.
You will be able to find a variety of wonderful gift choices at Gaslamp, so use your imagination, look around with a creative and open mind. You’re sure to find something distinctive to give as a hostess gift or a special holiday gift for family and friends!