I'm begging you. Make a decision this holiday season to consider a vintage or antique gift. In fact, I'll make you a deal. If you purchase an antique or vintage gift for a loved one that doesn't bowl them over, get in touch with me here and I will make you an offer. (White elephants excepted.)
If you are already a convert who knows that plastic has its limits, then skip to the bottom of this post for a bonus quiz with a prize involved. It is the season of giving!
If you find antique shops stinky and you're grossed out by the idea that the gift you just received is covered with the fingerprints of people who might be dead, then read on and let's see if I can change your mind.
Five Reasons to Gift Vintage Instead of Plastic Crap
1. It's about the pocket book! Often, luxury items are more affordable when you buy vintage. A saxophone, a cashmere sweater, a set of Limoges teacups, an English garden trug, Bakelite poker chips. For someone with champagne taste and a beer budget, it's a very satisfying way to game the luxury market.
2. Two for one! When you gift something vintage or antique, you are giving two things: the gift itself and the search. Your recipient knows this. Think of how much more meaningful it is to receive a first edition John Updike unearthed in a used bookstore than ordering the same title in its twelfth printing on Amazon.
3. Scarcity economics. Certain items that are no longer available take on extra cache. The more difficult an item is to find, the more valuable we humans deem it to be. (Thus the sad devaluation of Hummel figurines and beanie babies.) Hand-colored maps, original iPods, WWII toy soldiers, original pressings of Led Zeppelin, an Elsa Schiaparelli beret - these things are rare and getting rarer.
4. Be an original! You are unique. So is your loved one. And most significantly, so is your relationship. Gifting a vintage Italian cheese grater to remind her of the night you made linguine with clams is sooo unexpected. And that's how hearts are won. Surprise is an important building block of romance.
5. Because the opposite sucks. If you are gifting to express your feelings, then whatever you purchase is the messenger of that sentiment. The object takes on a human attribute. Whether you want to hear this or not, your gift sends a message. I know someone whose husband bought her a scale. When a local radio station asked its listeners to call in with tales of gift woes, she called and won a romantic weekend package. Do you really want to be remembered for gifting something so awful, your loved one wins a pity award?
And really, if any of you readers need help, please get in touch. A few of you have already reached out asking for help in finding the perfect gift. I certainly don't require you to buy from me. It's lovely to simply offer ideas. Email me here.
Okay, now onto the contest. First prize goes to the person who can tell me the identity of the person in the photograph above and why I included her image in this still life? Second prize goes to the person who correctly identifies the album. Comment below please. Happy holidays everyone!
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Photo above by Renn Kuhnen