Located in the historic Pike Place Market, Isadora’s has specialized in exquisite antique jewelry for 38 years. Our discriminating collection includes pieces from the early 1800’s through the 1950’s, without a reproduction to be found. Our precious pieces are sent to North American Gem Lab for independent appraisals. We invite you to call our toll free number for applicable discounts. On many of our pieces, we are able to offer between 10-25% off of appraisal value.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Why Gift Giving Matters to Me

Every August my friend Elizabeth says, “It’s almost Christmas” and I cover my ears and hum a ditty.  And she uncovers my ears and says, “Before you know it, it will be Christmas” and I ignore her.  But here we are three days before Thanksgiving and she is sitting smug with a half filled Christmas closet and I wonder where September and October went. 

I love this Art Deco postcard of a messenger bearing gifts.

And so, as I try and cobble together a Christmas list, I find myself contemplating the nature of Christmas gifts and gift giving in general. 

This beautiful antique necklace is a French love token

I remember the first year I picked out my own Christmas gifts.  I was ten or eleven, and felt it was time I started participating in the gift giving as well as receiving. And so I counted my pennies, consulted with my grandmother and decided to give gifts to five family members.  I don’t remember most of the gifts I gave that year but I do remember giving my mother a beautiful cake platter that she uses to this day.

I always look for antique jewelry pieces with engravings.   This one is particularly sweet reading, "Sons to Mothers 1-13-14"
And I learned something that Christmas, that overused but true truism, it is better to give than to receive.  Or if not that, giving can be really great, because that Christmas I remember anticipating less what I would receive and more the expressions on peoples faces when they opened the presents I had purchased for them.
In Victorian England, Snake Jewelry were popularly gifted between lovers as two snake intertwined symbolized eternal love.
And ever since that Christmas, I have given gifts.  Which depending on the size of my bank account, has varied from the moderately lavish to the homemade.  One year I think I had to glue the wrapping paper shut because I ran out of money for tape.  And like my bank account, my investment emotionally in gift giving has also varied from the perfunctory to the heartfelt.  

Lockets were traditionally a gift given to a loved on and hold that tradition today.  

But this year I want to reinvest myself in why I choose to give gifts.  Because for me, when I get it right, a gift large or small can be an expression of how I value and love my friends and family. A gift can be a wonderful moment, a lasting memory of friendship or love exchanged.  Something my friend can look at and remember how much I love them.

Bands were often a place to engrave a message.  This one reads "WMH to RMN"

One of the very best gifts I’ve ever given was a 1920’s shell cameo with marcasite frame.  I gave it to my grandmother who adores cameos and it is her very favorite one.   She wears it on special occasions and she even rigged a little picture frame for it, so she can keep it on her bedside table whenever she is not wearing it.  For me it was the gift giving equivalent of a home run, because not only it is something she loves for what it is singularly, it is something sentimental and lasting and only a few people know how much which she loves cameos and I am one of them.

This cameo reminds me of the one I gave my grandmother several years ago.

I’ve given gifts that I’ve remembered and given gifts that I’ve forgotten and this year I want to give only memorable gifts.  Gifts that say I see you and I love you. This year I plan to be unabashedly sentimental.  This year I plan to wear my gift giving on my sleeve.

For more beautiful antique jewelry ideas go to isadoras.

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