I’ve always been a huge fan of shopping cute little stores and people’s attics for holidays, birthdays, etc. Beyond the handmade gifts I attempt to send family and friends every
other year, I’ve delightfully wrapped up a pair of silver airstream slippers, intricately handknit wool scarves, a portable phonograph from the ’20s, Dolly Parton’s Playboy issue from 1978, hand jarred jams and pickled zucchini, first edition classics, a belt buckle made from license plates, the list goes on!
Since I am currently counting down the days until I no longer live in the land of mass production and exponential price mark-ups (where even vintage stores are chains), I’ve decided that this year, I’m shopping locally in a little village I like to call cyberspace. I can’t give away precisely where or what I’ve been perusing since certain nosy gift-getters are quite adept at picking up on clues, but I will say that most of those on my nice list will be unwrapping vintage or handmade items from the wonderful world of Etsyland.
Here’s the first edition of my top ideas for unique Christmas gifts that are affordable as well as sustainable! All are from various shops on Etsy – just click on the image to link to it!
- a handmade necklace/bracelet in an antique jewelry box. Mix new gems with old opulence!
- a vintage smoking jacket or silk kimono robe. Who doesn’t love a little luxury on cold nights in front of the fireplace?
- a vintage music box pertaining to their special interest. Unicorns, Chevys, cha cha dancers, whatever floats their boat! Speaking of boats, I have a copper ship that when you turn the wheel, ‘Moon River’ sings out in only a slightly haunting off-key tune. It’s one of my favorite things that I own.
- a smaller or beginner version of an instrument they’ve always wanted to play. Say, a 1/4 size cello, a digital keyboard from the 80s with all of those delightfully annoying firetruck and helicopter sounds, or just fun instruments like a harmonica, xylophone, pan flute, the options are endless with a music lover! Pair with a how-to book for a super cute gift set. Who knows, you could get them a dinosaur toy that rawrs and they could end up being the next CocoRosie.
- antique kitchen equipment for the foodies in your life. Perhaps a 50’s seafoam green milkshake maker, or an antique toaster from the ’20s, a set of etched vintage champagne/dessert glasses from the ’60s, or a retro floral apron.
- who wouldn’t want a vintage Playboy issue with their favorite old-time celebrity on the cover! The nakedness is minimal if you’re not into that sort of thing and the advertisements are longer than the articles. And, trust me, they are priceless all on their own. I mean we’re talking ads for the Lisa by Apple and television consoles. O-O-O-E-E-E!
- love a history lover? Find a handmade replica of a historical artifact! I am obsessed with all things nautical and Egyptian, so perfect gift ideas for me would be a vintage/repurposed nautical compass, a ship in a bottle, a treasure map, a painted scarab, miniature alter statues, whew I could really keep this up until Christmas day.
- have that best friend that’s all kittens and sunshine on the outside, but is one psychic hotline away from the mysterious draw of fringe-living? I say explore the darker side of life with her and search for that perfect vintage or replica Marie Laveau voodoo doll, empty Absinth bottle repurposed into a planter, blank grimoire, crocodile skull, teeth necklace, or a vintage quack electroshock therapy device.
- vintage games are the best games! I just bought a deck of Jeu de Tarot cards straight from France and am sooooo excited to learn how to play. Imagine the fun you can have with that special gift receiver at a picnic in the park or camped out in the cabin rolling the dice of the 1956 Yahtzee game. Compare your scores against those recorded on the pads 55 years ago!
Stay tuned for part 2 of my Top DIY and Vintage Christmas Idea List!