Written by Trisha Ries
Christmas is that magical time of year where hearts grow three times their normal size, and you can smell the wonderment in the air. If you are anything like me, the joy of giving is far greater than the joy of receiving. Although, I must admit that I had some pretty amazing toys growing up and fond Christmas memories of seeing them for the first time; a Glo-Worm, Care Bear, Popple, Pound Puppy, Boglins, an Ewok Adventure Hut, and Fisher-Price adjustable roller skates (better known as death traps). Over the years you grow older and outgrow your favorite toys; I ended up donating the majority of my toys to Goodwill and Jubilee in Lebanon. I sometimes wish I had held onto them for nostalgia purposes, but I know they made some little girl or little boy happy and that makes me happy.
I get really excited about finding the perfect gift for my loved ones. I often aim to outdo myself from the year before, but I don’t always have the money that I wish I did, so I have to get creative and shop on a budget, or even make the gift if I have the materials available. It is amazing what you can find at local antique shops and eBay stores! Whenever I walk into Burning Bridge Antiques in Columbia it is like I took a joyride in my DeLorean, if I had a DeLorean. Anything from toys, vinyl, to tea sets can all make the perfect gift for a loved one. Several years ago I found a set of Russ Berrie sillisculpts at Salvation Army. My nana and papa had these on a shelf in their living room for as long as I could remember. I bought the set without a second thought, and gifted it to my mother for Christmas. I did not spend a fortune, but her reaction told me that I didn’t have to.
My joy of shopping got me thinking about Marietta Day and the Candlelight Tour. Our small town holds such amazing history, arts, and crafts; Marietta makes the perfect gift! Just by doing a quick Google search using the keywords “Marietta, PA” and “collectibles” I came across a list of over fifteen different sellers on eBay selling such delights. Many of these shop owners are from Lancaster County, while others stretch out to New York. Shops and shop owners often get their materials from estate sales and auctions. Some will find the perfect merchandise at the right price, and resell it for a profit. I contacted several of these shops, and one thing I know for sure, they really enjoy what they do.
One of my favorite pieces that I found on eBay was from seller “kellyfasnacht”. It is a postcard of Wild Cat Falls in Marietta, PA circa 1908. A purchase of this, placed in a frame, would be the perfect gift for any river rat. Know anyone that collects antique iron pots? Why not hit up seller “simbacurt” for their collection of beautiful Marietta, PA cast iron pots? For the serious collector, seller “antiquecottage” has a collection of antique deeds dating back to 1848! There really is something for everyone, even an antique letterhead from Waterford Pen Company, Marietta, PA circa 1910, available from seller “jaygould”. Whether your purchase is from eBay or a local shop, you can tell that these collectors put their care and pride in all of their pieces.
One thing to always keep in mind when shopping for collectibles is to know what you are looking at. If you aren’t sure whether the piece you found is authentic take a picture and send it to someone who does. Most shop owners will allow you to take a picture if you ask permission, or they may have a certificate of authenticity (depending on high forgery rates). It never hurts to ask a shop owner or seller about their collections. If they appear hesitant, I would consider that an answer in itself.
There is still plenty of time to find that perfect Christmas gift for your loved ones. Whether they moved out of town, love history, or a piece just screams to you; there is a plethora of possibilities at your fingertips. In the spirit of the holidays, I will leave you with this;
“May joy and peace surround you,
Contentment latch your door,
And happiness be with you,
And bless you evermore.”
Happy Holidays everyone!