gifts2I’m old, so there aren’t many things I “need” anymore. But for Holiday 2016, here are a few ideas with “real people” appeal. Stuff I bought for myself this year. Not necessarily “retro” or “renovation” oriented, but hey. Note: All the links in this story are affiliate links.

catanWhat is more classic than family and friends sitting around the kitchen playing board games? This Thanksgiving, we were introduced to Catan. It was super fun — I adored it! And when I got home, I bought the whole getup, the basic set and a bunch of the extensions. 

Link: Catan 5th edition

Plus, there are are extensions to add 5-6 players … to add Seafaring real estate … and more.

I am also kind of obsessed with playing Connect 4 right now.

nespresso-milk-frotherI bought this for myself and LOVE it. I’m calling it “retro”, because I spent my college junior year abroad, 1979-1980, in Madrid, Spain. There, they put steamed milk in their morning coffee. Steamed milk makes your coffee all that more delicious. When I visited my brother this autumn, he had one of these Nespresso milk steamers, so I bought the same kind. I’ve been using it daily since October and yummmmm, my coffee is betttttttter than ever.

Link: Nespresso Aeorccino Plus Milk Frother

nespresso-makerOkay, so my brother had the Nespresso maker too, so I got one. For my afternoon espresso. I also buy the pods for the espresso online.

Link: Nespresso VertuoLine Coffee and Espresso Maker and espresso pods

vitra-george-nelsonI bought one of these classic George Nelson ball clocks for my brother and sister-in-law as a housewarming gift. It’s beautiful. There are other colors, too.

Link: Vitra Men’s George Nelson Ball Clock

Theo Chocolate Organic Sea Salt 70 Percent Dark Chocolate

theo-chocolate Chocolate bars are cheaper by the dozen, and apparently this dark stuff — organic, free trade, non-GMO too — is good for you!

Link: Theo Chocolate Organic Sea Salt 70 Percent Dark Chocolate Bar, 3 Ounce — 12 per case


Okay, so this next one, I don’t have. But it intrigues me. As I mentioned at the outset, I am old. This could actually be quite useful.

Link: KINGSO LED Motion-Activated Glow Toilet Bowl 8 Colors and there are other such designs too

More gift ideas from some other blogger-friends

Merry merry, happy happy, everyone!

  1. Kathy says:

    If you like Catan, try Pandemic. Board games from Europe focus on working as a team and not “winning”. Really a fun new way to play a game “together”.

        1. Retroski says:

          So retro-ers are game nerds, too! I’ve heard Settlers of Catan is great. Carcassone is another European classic tile building game where you build villages and it’s really fun.

        2. Retroski says:

          So retro-ers are game nerds, too! I’ve heard Settlers of Catan is great. Carcassone is another European classic tile building game where you build villages and it’s really fun. We’ll have to try it and Ticket to ride!

    1. pam kueber says:

      I don’t mind at all.

      I should have put at the bottom of the story: What other ideas do you have, readers??? Maybe I will do a followup story!

    1. Trudi says:

      Do you have a link for the bread box? I’ve been looking for a bread box and that sounds wonderful but I can’t find it? Thanks!

        1. Trudi says:

          That was the one I was leaning towards but when I saw your post I thought well, if I can’t have a pink Smeg refrigerator I can at least have a bread box!

  2. Nancy says:

    Loooooove my Nespresso. 6+ years with the base level machine and our relationship is still going strong! And Santa could put that clock under my tree.

    1. pam kueber says:

      Thanks for the info!

      To make my afternoon espresso, I actually run water through the same pod twice. This seems to work well to get a double kick! That puts the variable cost of my afternoon habit at $1.50 per cup (for the pod, but not counting the other fixed cost of machinery or the variable cost of the milk) vs. $5 if I go to the local coffee shop. Seems like I’ll have the fixed costs paid for very fast, although I haven’t bothered with the calculations.

  3. Great minds think alike! I am about to publish a list of Retro Roadmappy things (mainly books) that I think folks would enjoy for the holiday season.

    I too am at the stage where I don’t “need” anything nor do I want anything that isn’t useful/beautiful in my Hacienda. But the holidays are a perfect excuse to splurge on a glossy coffee table book that I can ooh and ahh over!

  4. Jay says:

    Old!!! Who are you calling old? We are the same age. But I get it. We stopped buying Christmas presents several years back when our mother was still alive. I have no problem indulging myself spending a few dollars in a thrift shop or antique mall if it’s something that enhances the house and can be used.

    I bet those Nespresso machines look pretty cool in your retro kitchen. Enjoy them, after all you work from home so why run out every day for your coffee fix. I think I “need” that milk steamer.

  5. Gerry says:

    If you have some time, WoodWorking for Mere Mortals website has free plans for lots of stuff to build including retro inspired clocks, credenza’s, etc. I am not affiliated with the site but it is lots of fun.
    You might find some good Christmas items there to make.
    Here is the link to a Jetson’s style clock to make:
    Site owner does have a “tip jar” in case you like the plans and want to contribute.

  6. Gerry says:

    Daewoo makes an adorable 700 watt retro microwave. Amazon and Costco stock it but it was cheaper at Costco. $ 80.00 or so. Colors are mint/turquoise, red, black, and offwhite. Nice size on the counter, no clock to annoy me :), and 700 watts does pop popcorn, bake potatoes, etc. Great present for a retro lover!!

      1. Jay says:

        Your last item on the list made me laugh! All I can think of is “as seen on TV”, lately I have been seeing a commercial for a similar item. I think it would be fun but the ick factor dissuades me. I’ll stick with my old fashioned night light.

        1. Elisabeth says:

          We have the toilet light and we love it! I bought it for my partner for his birthday. Our guests get a big kick out of it too. I should say though, that the manufacturing is dodgy. Our first two stopped working within a month. But the seller (American Pumpkins on Amazon) has been very responsive to our replacement requests. When it works, it’s great!

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