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  • Lisa Jevens

Retro Holiday Gifts

When it comes to holiday gift giving, people “of a certain age” can be difficult to buy for because it seems they already have everything. One special thing you can give them is a piece of their past. Here are some gifts that will spark memories of days gone by, and also make it easier to create new ones.

Polaroid Camera

If you thought Polaroid cameras were a thing of the past, you’re in for a treat. The Impossible Project now refurbishes them and sells the instant film to go with them. So you can get a piece of history and start taking those instant photos everyone loved. Cameras range in price from about $100-$300.

Visit to see available cameras and film. You can also buy some models and film at

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Retro Handset

If you know someone who is getting frustrated with their smartphone, this might help. The Retro Handset plugs into the phone so they can talk the old school way. It even has feature the old phones did not, including volume control, noise reduction and a high-quality speaker. It is compatible with all smartphones (some may require an adapter). There is even an app you can download that mimics a rotary dialer. Sold at Restoration Hardware for $20.

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Reminisce Magazine

Reminisce is a nostalgia-lovers dream come true. Its pages are loaded with photos and personal stories from the various decades of the last century, up through the 1980s. It’s a great way to get someone talking and smiling about things they remember that were once part of daily life, like classic cars, soda fountains, and double features. You can give a gift of Reminisce magazine for $10 a year, and the gift will be announced with a special card. Visit for details.

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LP Saver III

Over the years there have been many gadgets designed to convert record albums and tapes to CDs, but none as fun and stylish as this one. The LP Saver III is an all-in-one music duplicating system with the look of an old-time radio. It records albums and cassettes directly to CDs as you play them. There is no computer needed. You can pause during recordings, or create your own CD music mixes. The LP Saver III plays 45s, 78s, 33s and cassette tapes. It also has a built-in AM/FM stereo and a CD player with remote control, so it can be used around the house when you’re not recording. Sold for $279 at

Originally published in Chicago Tribune, Prime Time senior living section on November 7, 2014.

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