Retro Holiday Gift Guide (2016)

It’s November. Have you started your retro holiday shopping yet?

Let’s be realistic. It’s not always possible to get someone the perfect vintage or antique item, no matter how much work you put into searching for it.

Trust me on this. A couple of years ago, I dropped one of my mom’s 1950s Christmas ornaments. I’ve been looking for a replacement ever since and haven’t been able to find one like it.

So let’s get started!

Hallmark’s Nostalgic Houses and Shops line usually leans toward Victorian architecture, but this year’s house is a midcentury split level. Even better: there is a companion vehicle that resembles a classic Corvette.

Does your lucky recipient love music? Original Beach Boys Brian Wilson and Mike Love both have autobiographies on bookstore shelves. (If you have a few extra bucks in your budget, get the Beach Boys’ Christmas album, too.* I normally dread Christmas music due to too many years in retail, but thankfully the Beach Boys don’t get overplayed.)

Shopping for a book lover? Pair a couple of Raymond Chandler hardcovers with the Raymond Chandler Map of Los Angeles (hi Kim).

Need something for a modern pinup? Luxulite jewelry is gaining quite a following (and looks glamorous on pinups of all sizes and shapes!).

Tiki fanatic on your list? There are great books about the Mai-Kai and Smuggler’s Cove.

Need a Secret Santa gift for the receptionist at work? How about some funny post-its from Anne Taintor – and maybe a magnet or two? (Oh, what the hell…make it three.)

Do you have a friend who LOVES Christmas? Can’t find vintage Shiny Brite ornaments in good condition? Christopher Radko makes beautiful reproductions at a reasonable price. Don’t forget the bubble lights!

Did your friends just rip a hideous ’80s kitchen out of their ’50s house? Encourage the renovation efforts with some vintage-inspired linens from Red and White Kitchen Company. (The site is wholesale only, but there is a store locator.)

Shopping for a doll collector? American Girl’s Maryellen (1954) and Melody (1964) are out now. (Can’t afford the dolls? You can gift an outfit, accessory set, or mini doll for a lot less.)

Stumped? Everyone loves Laughing Elephant’s reproduction and vintage-inspired stickers, and at $6-10 a set, they’re great stocking stuffers. (New this year: “World of Tomorrow“, “Mid-Century Style“, and “Route 66“.)

As for wrapping all of this…vintage wrapping paper is very hard to find in good condition. If the neighborhood school isn’t selling anything retro enough for your taste, Sophistatiki‘s got you covered (via Spoonflower). This starburst pattern is my favorite.

*Amazon links are affiliate links. The other links are not.

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