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Vintage gifts that will stand out Christmas morning

From vinyl records to classic toys
Ohio museum display features more than 1,000 dolls
Posted at 6:11 PM, Dec 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-19 19:24:00-05

Next time you are in Walmart, check out the vinyl-record shelf in the electronics section. You might think you've stepped back in time to 1982.

That's right: many Walmart stores now sell vinyl records, and record players for listening to them.

The vinyl revival hit Walmart this Christmas season, part of a nostalgic wave of holiday gifts. But it is just the start.

At the Riverside Center Antique Mall on Kellogg Avenue on Cincinnati's East Side, you can find dozens of classic holiday items for sale these final days before Christmas.

Outside, they have a row of Flexible Flyer sleds from the 1970s that certainly don't meet today's safety standards, but will make a great holiday display.

Inside, manager Karen Veeneman says the hottest vintage gift this year are 1960s-era ceramic light-up Christmas trees. They sit over a big light bulb. That's how low-tech they are.

Price? "Anywhere from $50 to $80," she said.

If there is someone in your family who seems to already have everything, from an iPad to Beats earbuds, and you can't think of anything they need ... think vintage.

Veeneman showed us boxes of "Shiny Brite" glass ornaments from the 1970s, some with cone-shaped light reflectors built in.

"$15 for the set, so that's a good price.," she said.

Or how about a light-up molded plastic Santa, something Ralphie's dad would have loved in A Christmas Story.

"These were made in the 1950s, and they are all lit up with the cord," she said.

Linda Mason has a booth of vintage toys at Riverside, such as a 1960s version of Twister. She knows why they are so popular these days.

"I think everybody likes to go back to their childhood. They like to remember a more simpler time, something we reconnect with. And it brings us back in time."

If you are lucky, you may also find an old Radio Flyer wagon, marionettes, and vintage dolls (though quantities are very limited).

But you don't have to remember those days to enjoy a vintage toy or ornament that looks so different from today's cookie-cutter gifts.

Cincinnati's Riverside Center Antique Mall will be open daily through December 23rd, even on Sunday, so you don't waste your money.


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