I have long been a fan of shopping at antique malls for Christmas presents (as you know, gentle reader, from my posts about buying records whilst Christmas shopping in years past) because I hope to find something to match the perceived personality of the gift recipients, something unexpected, maybe a little quirky, and something not generic like gift cards. Also, maybe something less expensive than if I ordered it off of the Internet.
These days, my shopping list is smaller. My aunt for whom I bought Duck Dynasty things or Dallas books or board games passed away in 2019. I bought or made gifts a number of years for my relations in the Kansas City area, but I’ve dropped them as they never acknowledged the gifts nor stopped to visit me when they were in the area (and they’ve not communicated with me in years at all). So I’m down to immediate family, my brother’s family, and one family with whom we’ve exchanged gifts for a while now.
So I hit Relics, Ozarks Treasures, and Mike’s Unique this holiday season and went through all the aisles in each coming up with a couple or three gifts.
However, I did not give or get some interesting things this year.
The Pink Fedora
Some time in the distant past, when my boys were about 6 and 4, I ordered a couple of child-sized black fedoras for them, and I remember that they wore them at least once with me as I took them to school. They might have worn them a time or two otherwise, perhaps as part of a Halloween costume or dress up like a literary character day (the youngest went as Mike Hammer one year because that’s how we could dress him up with the materials at hand, including a small fedora).
This year, my beautiful wife asked me if I remembered that, and of course I do. One of the monitors in my office spends much of its time with a slideshow of family photos, so I see Mike Hammer at the very least with some regularity. And she decided that adult fedoras would make a wonderful gift. So she planned to order them, but left it to me, so I could balance low-cost with quality, or at least find some that were not shipped flat (and had trouble returning to shape).
I wanted something as inexpensive as possible because I expect my boys, now 17 and 15 and not so enamored with their father, to not wear the fedoras at all. But time will tell. I also expected that they would presume this was my idea.
I found this pink fedora at Relics, and I thought about giving it to my wife from the boys, but it’s twenty dollars. Not bad for a fedora, but I am trying to exercise a little fiscal discipline in spots, and I know my wife would not wear it. So it’s still available, perhaps for the times when I am less frugal.
The Dogs Playing Poker Chair
I spotted this in the back room at Mike’s Unique. I did not look at the price of it–I am not a fan of secondhand upholstered items in general–but I sent a picture of it to my beautiful wife.
Back when we lived in Casinoport, I must have mentioned the seemingly ubiquituous dogs playing poker paintings. Did we see one at an estate sale? Perhaps. My goodness, they seemed common in those days, but one does not see them any more. They must have been a mid-century or earlier fad whose examples were getting cleaned out in the turn-of-the-century estate sales. My wife fittingly made noise about never, ever at Honormoor (our Casinoport home), but I ended up buying a framed print at some garage sale and hanging it in my garage. I also found a Dogs Playing Poker computer game on a cheap CD at Best Buy (let that be your guide as to how long ago it was, gentle reader: A game on a CD. At Best Buy.). It had you playing poker with a variety of dogs of different breeds with different personalities and styles. I played it a couple of times for laughs, but not much. It was probably about the time Civilization IV came out, and we know how I’ve not played many games besides it in the last twenty years.
I think the frame on the dogs playing poker print got broken one move or another and it got sent out with the donations to one garage sale or another. The game, too, probably went out with the cullings of old CDs, but it’s possible that it’s in the binders with old operating system CDs in the closet. I have not researched it in putting this post together but might take a look through those binders for old time’s sake sometime.
What did I get at the antique malls after spending three or four days of it?
Well, I got some locally produced jams and jellies for the brother and his families. I got a couple of decorative signs and wallhangings for his fiance. And I got a Bob Gibson St. Louis Cardinals jersey for my oldest son. Who didn’t know who Bob Gibson was. I explained he might have been the best pitcher ever, including Nolan Ryan (and he might have been the only pitcher able to best Ryan in a fight). Of course, I might be biased because I just read his first autobiography earlier this year and for some reason–perhaps reading two bible autobiographies this year–Facebook insists on showing me Bob Gibson and Nolan Ryan posts. Unlike the fedora, though, I have seen my oldest wearing the jersey a couple of times at home. Perhaps it will broaden his appreciation of the storied franchise.
I will head back to Relics in a couple of minutes to look for a gift for our friend family since I couldn’t be arsed to make one for them when I was inspired to (and then was not inspired in the two or three weeks since). I might also have a gift or two to give myself, but probably not a lot of records or DVDs. LP prices are way up, and DVD prices are climbing as well–and I have plenty of films to watch now that holiday movie re-watching is over.