The Joy of Antique Gifting

My wife and I love antiques. A quick look around our home would tell you so. However, it would also tell you that we are rather eclectic in our tastes, and have no obvious theme in mind; we simply buy things that capture our imagination, and which take us back to times and places we remember, and there is joy in that.

This is our vintage step stool holding various books….a mix of “old favorites,”  “coffee table” photo books and a wonderful wooden treasure box.










I found this Chinese water bucket locally and my wife keeps lap blankets in it.










“Antiquing” is often associated with expensive “luxury” buying, and it is true that there are many beautiful, and expensive antique investments one might make. However, we have come to see “antiquing” as a wonderful way to buy, not for investment per se, but for gifting.

There are many small antique items available in any good antique store, and for very little money. What we have discovered is the joy of giving someone something that will invoke in them memories of bygone days, perhaps happier times, for we all tend to remember the “good old days” as better than perhaps they really were.

Good or bad, the “old days” are still a testimony to our lives, and ability to both endure, and enjoy life. Antiques speak to this. People love receiving them, knowing that you had them specifically in mind, and were not just buying something to satisfy the need to do so.

We buy antiques as gifts often, and do not spend lots of money in the process. In most antique stores, one can find period specific items for as little as $15-$125.00, or you can get more extravagant depending on the occasion, and the relationship.

But, there are some things for certain: 1) you will see a smile on the face of the recipient as a recollection comes into their mind; 2) the gift is not modern “Made in China” junk; 3) the gift will retain its value; 4) you will have great time shopping down memory lane.

Antique stores abound, and there are far too many to list, but here are some we have especially enjoyed:

 Oregon Street Antique Mall, 1261 Oregon Street, Redding, CA

Antique Cottage and Garden, 3270 Cascade Blvd, Shasta Lake City, CA

 Ship Wrecks Hidden Treasures, 43151 State Highway 299, Fall River Mills, CA

Annie’s Main Street Place, 37096 State Highway 299, Burney, CA

Phillip Barker is retired from a chemical engineering company he co-founded. He and his wife, Kathy, own a small cattle ranch in Surprise Valley, Modoc County, that they bought in part “to teach the kids to work hard for low wages.” Their son and two daughters are all successful and happily married. (The ranch lessons paid off.) The Barkers tried to retire to Redding while they also kept and maintained the ranch and Kathy developed, owned and managed the former Oregon Street Tea Company. These days the Barkers help care for both their parents, their ranch and the Oregon Street building, and make as much time as possible for their grandkids














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2 Responses

  1. Avatar gamerjohn says:

    Love the Oregon Street Mall. Now with the second floor it takes forever to moisy thru.

    • Avatar phillip barker says:


      Oregon Street Antique Mall is a great place. My son was building a "mancave" in the " old western saloon" stlye. It turned out really, really good, and much of the stuff he used for decoration, and "talking pieces" came from Oregon Street.