Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Tuesday Treasures: A Very Vintage Christmas!

Christmas already!!??  It's hard to believe that this year is nearly over, it went so fast!!  I had a whirlwind year of adventures that made time simply fly by, so here we are two days from Christmas, my favorite holiday of the year!  I have fond memories of the magic and warmth of Christmas.  Decorations, memorable childhood gifts and the presence of loved ones, many of whom have now passed away.  We spent a lot of time at my Grandparents home when I was a child and this shaped my taste in Christmas decor.  Many of the decorations that my Grandparents had were mid century decor from the 50's and 60's.  This developed in me a love for the unique, kitschy and bright however I also love shabby chic, victorian and art nouveau decor in my home so our house and our Christmas decor is an eclectic mix of styles from many eras.  Today's Tuesday Treasures blog is a virtual Christmas tour through my home highlighting my favorite pieces of Christmas decor from all time periods.  Each piece has a story, where I found it, why it has meaning to me and of course the actual history of the item itself.  Enjoy!

 Here is our Living Room decked out for Christmas.  We have two Christmas trees because I just cannot fit all of my Christmas spirit on one!  We have a 6 foot artificial pine and an Aluminum pom pom sparkler tree.  Both trees are filled with ornaments that have meaning to us, we try to collect an ornament each year but honestly we end up with many more than that as we both love antiques and searching through the stores together is something we can spend hours together doing, I love it!  I adore sitting here by the trees and our little faux fireplace wrapped in my furry blanket relaxing with a hot cup of cocoa.  I love interesting things and when they all have memories it makes a home happy indeed, so I have little touches of Christmas in every room!

 My Favorite thing on our large tree are these Vintage Celluloid Icicles-circa 1950's. I am lucky to have eleven of these pretty celluloid icicles that were my Grandmother's, they give an outdoorsy touch.  I love the magic that they lend to our tree which is decorated with cream, gold, and silver.  All sorts of whimsical ornaments, red birds, stars and fanciful things that make my heart soar!

 Vintage "Sputnik" Ornament circa 1950's.  Everything space was huge in the 50's, so these sputnik ornaments are the cutest in mid century kitsch.  I love how it sparkles!  I am definitely going to be on the lookout for more, we found this while browsing the local antique mall and both fell in love!

Our Christmas Tree holds pieces of our lives and memories from each Christmas we have spent together.  It has been a tradition since our very first Christmas as a couple in 1998 to listen to the Celine Dion- These Are The Special Times Christmas CD while decorating the tree and I love the conversations that always go along with it!  I have tried to uphold these traditions and have added more along the way as we became a family in 2000 and as our son Lennon has grown, Christmas has always been a magical time in our household!!

The Sparkler Aluminum Pom Pom Christmas Tree-Circa 1966.  My Uncle purchased this tree shortly before he left for the Vietnam War, somewhere over the years it ended up in my Grandmother's annex storage, when I was 16 I wanted to deck my bedroom for the holidays and asked my Grandma for a Christmas tree, thus the Sparkler became mine. 
I LOVE this tree, its so eclectic and fun, I love putting colorful mercury glass ornaments on it and I am always seeking new pretties for my vintage tree.  I found the multicolored starburst cover lights at a local thrift shop and they add lovely colors but I am going to invest in a color wheel for next Christmas, so I can have the true retro effect!

 Lefton December Angel-Circa 1950's.  My Grandmother had many of these Lefton angels when I was little.  I will always remember when she finally gave me her April Angel, because that is my birthday month and because she made me wait until I was old enough to care for such a delicate figurine.  I found December at my favorite local antique store and she won my heart with her pretty poinsettias and golden halo, I knew she would look perfect sitting with my photos of Grandma and Grandpa.

Keeping watch over the living room on our fireplace mantel are these Christmas Elf Vases-Circa 1960's.  My Mom found these guys at Goodwill, the kitsch lover in me squealed.  I knew I had to have them but I will admit, they are a slight bit creepy but a lot of great retro Christmas decor is!  These "Creepy Elvis Twins" adorn each side of our fireplace mantel every Christmas on their matching plastic poinsettia doilies, that I picked up at a local thrift store for 25 cents!  The cutesy little Christmas Mice are from the 60s and were in a box of awesome retro Christmas decor given to me when I was a teen, by my Mom's best friend.

 Antique Santa Plate-Age Unknown.  Another Goodwill find, this antique Santa plate is something I found our very first Christmas married in 1998 and I knew that I had to have it for serving Christmas cookies!

Vintage Santa Circa Early 1900's.  Gift from the sweet Inge, owner of my favorite local antique shop.
Vintage Santa Night Light-Age Unknown.  Found at our local antique mall.
 Antique Santa figures are something that I have just recently become interested in adding to my collection.  It all started with Warren.  I met Warren at church during a very hard time in my life, we were both needing companionship and formed a father/daughter like bond that blessed us both greatly.  He was 84 years old at the time, a big sturdy gentleman with a heart of gold, warm firm hugs and a mischievous twinkle in his eye.  We bonded instantly because I loved hearing his tales of days gone by, I heard about the adventures he had experienced his time in the service during the WWII Era, he reminisced about his beloved late wife and he shared the wisdom learned in a long life.  We were blessed to have Warren as a guest at our home last Christmas and he brought with him a gift, an Antique German Santa Claus Figurine dating from the late 1800's. I cherish this Santa and he stays out year round in memory of Warren, who sadly passed away in the summer of this year.  I began researching and picking up cute vintage Santa's as a result of this gift and the fond memories it gives me.  I love how each person touches our lives and leaves their fingerprints!

Grandma's Christmas Trees!  These two trees are both very thrilling additions to our Christmas decor collection and both were found after hunting for a good deal but it is always worth holding off to find just the right item for you when buying vintage! 
The St. Nick Christmas Tree by Arthur Hahn Company-Circa 1950's  was a decoration my Grandmother Beatrice always had in her kitchen at Christmas.  I remember this cute little bottle brush tree lit with its bright pastel lights gleaming from the heavily snow flocked white branches, it always evoked visions of magic in my young mind.  My Grandmother's original tree was sadly destroyed but I went searching and found this one on E-bay that is an exact replica of Grandma's.  I have had it for about 10 years now and unfortunately the vintage lights stopped working but it's still lovely.  It brings back an exact vision in my head of my beloved Grandparents kitchen!! 

This handmade Green Ceramic Christmas Tree-Circa 1960's, is the newest addition to our collection and my big Christmas gift from my husband this year!  I remember the Green Ceramic Tree that was in the home of my Grandma Marvin, who lived on Horseshoe Lake just around the corner from my Mother's Parents home on Lake Montcalm.  I grew up in a small picturesque rural area with lush forests, wildlife and clusters of picturesque lakes, the natural beauty of Michigan is breathtaking.  It was so fun when I was a kid to be able to walk from Grandma to Grandma to get spoiled by both and it also turned me into an old soul, as I was influenced by a different generation, this translated into my vintage tastes as an adult.  Grandma Marvin always had her big Green Ceramic Christmas Tree as the centerpiece of her kitchen table.  I remember trying so hard to sleep on Christmas Eve, when I was about 6 or 7 years old.  I remember staring at the pretty colored lights from the tree trying, in vain, to lull my excitement!! My husband Kevin and I have been looking for a ceramic tree for several years, we were lucky to win this one in an auction at a local antique mall and I am still in a bit of disbelief that after years of searching it's finally ours!  Christmastimes when I was a little girl were always a treat because we could start the morning at Grandma and Grandpa's opening gifts there and then go just around the corner to open more at Grandma Marvin's or vice versa, I loved having my Grandparents close and their vintage tastes influence me to this day!

I love having little touches of Christmas all over the house.  I picked up these cute plastic candle rings circa the 1960's at our local antique mall to add a little touch of nature. 

 I hope you have enjoyed this little peek into our home at Christmastime.  What is your favorite piece of Christmas Decor in your collection?  Follow me on Instagram and Facebook for tons of Christmas fun to come!

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