Five Great Nostalgic Gift Ideas

Technology has made many staples of the past nearly obsolete, such as paperback books, board games, Polaroid cameras, and stand-alone game consoles. Despite the blazing speed of new inventions that do more out of the box than their predecessors could do in a lifetime, many people are expressing a desire for nostalgic gifts.

As Alastair Bonnett from Newcastle University in the United Kingdom explains, today’s marketers sell electronic gadgets as an escape from 21st century reality. The faster things change, the more nostalgic people feel for the past. They wouldn’t necessarily want to live in an earlier era, but they do enjoy the look and feel of items that were popular in the past. Here are some of the things that are making gift lists in developed countries across the world:


  1. Replica of an old-time camera: While it’s no longer possible to create the photographic plates used in the late 1800s and early 1900s and thus not use this replica camera, people are still buying it as a decoration. The throwback camera stands five feet tall and is constructed from antique-style brown wood and cast aluminum.
  2. Classic arcade games on a wristwatch: Many middle-aged people remember saving their quarters and heading to the arcade for an afternoon of video games with their friends. Although few arcades still exist with video games that require standing up to play, people can enjoy the nostalgia of viewing classic arcade games every time they check the time on their wristwatch.
  3. Vinyl records and old turntables: It’s been a few decades since music lovers have had to worry about getting a skip in their records that ruined their favorite tunes. Nonetheless, there was something about bringing home a new album and listening to it on the turntable that the experience of instant streaming can’t touch. Stores specializing in nostalgia now offer record players that can handle all three speeds, even the not-often-played 78 RPM.
  4. Leg lamp from The Christmas Story: Who can forget the moment Ralph’s father won his major award and his mother’s reaction to a lamp shaped in the form of a woman’s leg and complete with a fishnet stocking? Now anyone who loved the movie can have a replica of the infamous leg lamp in their own home.
  5. Jeweled picture frame with a favorite old photo: Family photos from generations ago hold a special place of honor in most families. Placing a special picture in a jeweled picture frame helps to highlight just how special the memory is. Some of the many frame options include silver, gold, precious stones, and crystals. This gift is not only nostalgic, but it tells the recipient just how much the giver cares about his or her family history. Most people are deeply touched to receive such a gift.

With technology evolving at a faster pace every year, the demand for nostalgic products isn’t expected to end any time soon. People enjoy associations with memories that make them smile, and these are just five examples of products that can do just that.

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