Personalized Vintage Gifts

By Paula Kirwan

August 31, 2016


Shopping for a gift at GasLamp is always an adventure. You can never tell what treasures from days gone by you’ll come across as you check out the 300-plus booths.  Finding a nice present isn’t hard to do, but it’s especially exciting to discover something unique to honor a birthday, anniversary or other important event in the life of someone special.


When you want your gift to have significant meaning and also show that you gave it a lot of thought, you have to think outside the box. A vintage item is certainly distinctive, especially if it reflects the person’s interests. For instance, if a friend is a great cook, great choices are found in kitchen utensils, cookie jars and cookbooks from the past (photo, right: Betty Crocker Cooky Book from 1977). 


If a friend loves sports, memorabilia from a favorite team will definitely be appealing. For a reader, a great idea is to find an interesting book that was published the same year as his or her birth or wedding. If you know a gadget kind of guy, find a camera, vintage radio or phonograph manufactured in the year he was born (photo, left: Motorola Radio Model 53-X-3, from 1953-54). It works. $159.


Framing something specifically related to the life of someone special, such as a calendar from his birth year, or a magazine or newspaper that was published close to the date of her birthday, is a wonderful way to honor the occasion. 


Another idea: rummage through a box of old postcards to find his or her hometown or favorite vacation spot and frame it with glass on both sides so that both the picture and the message from long ago can be seen (photo, right: Missouri Botanical Gardens Postcard 1958). 


You can also find sheet music or a record of her favorite song, or a magazine advertisement for his first car, and have it framed (photo, left: Neil Diamond Album from 1977, Booth T-162).  Not only will the thoughtfulness of the gift be appreciated, it will also be a one-of-a-kind piece of art to hang on the wall. (Photo, right: “Shuffle Off To Buffalo” sheet music from 1933, Booth B1004).

While there’s nothing wrong with shopping for a gift at your local department store, a vintage gift honoring the personal history of your special someone will be especially appreciated. (And it certainly won’t be put away in some dark closet waiting to be re-gifted!)

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