Antiques make the holiday bright

This week’s issue brings us that much closer to the holidays. It seems they come faster and faster every year.

In our neck of the woods folks started displaying holiday lights two weeks before Thanksgiving. Don’t get me wrong – I like lights, but they make me think about the holidays earlier than I’m mentally prepared to do. There comes a point when the magic of the holidays gives way to the responsibility of making sure that magic arrives on time and within budget.

However, this year, my wife and I decided to take the advice from you readers and purchase antiques for gifts for everyone on our list. Our strategy wouldn’t change: dollar limits would stay the same and we would look for sales whenever and wherever we could. We were even going to shop on Black Friday.

If you’ve never been to a Black Friday shopping day, thank yourself right now. You saved yourself weeks of scanning advertisements and the frustration of hideously long lines – not to mention putting your life in danger by not pouring yourself into a motor vehicle at 4 a.m.

Black Friday hit and so did we. What we found was astounding.

Like their non-green, retail counterparts, antique shop owners offered steep discounts on a variety of merchandise. At one mall, select dealers marked their price tags 20 to 30 percent off. In one single-owner shop, a corner had been cleared and restocked with the antique version of stocking stuffers – a variety of nominally-priced items no bigger than a coffee cup.

I quickly learned that my idea of a perfect “antique” gift was not the same as my wife’s. When she showed me a great, carved wooden monkey I seriously suggested my mother. Wrong answer.

Now if we can just get antiques shops to stay open until 6 p.m. Dec. 24 …

Eric Bradley


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