Vintage Yuletide Treasures

I think it would be fair to describe the type of Christmas that I grew up with as fairly meagre.

My parents tried, but money was tight, presents were few, and I have indelible memories of faded tissue paper bells, paper chains, pages cut from the Reader’s Digest and framed, and the rattiest, saddest tinsel in the history of the world.

You’d think I wouldn’t want to be reminded of those days, but truthfully, some of my favourite decos date from the time of my earliest Christmas memories, and I guess the truth of the matter is that, had my folks been even moderately affluent, these things would’ve been tossed decades ago and I wouldn’t still have them to enjoy and share.

This tri-fold Christmas card printed with Clement C. Moore’s classic “A Visit From Santa” [ otherwise known as “The Night Before Christmas ” ] was sent to me the month I was born, and Mum taped it up in my bedroom every year that I can remember.

When I got married I took it with me, read it aloud to the kids every Christmas Eve when they were little, and when it finally started falling apart from all those decades of sticky tape, I had it laminated. Over the years that last statement has given more than one avid collector of ephemera the screaming meemies, but it was a choice: fold it carefully away from the light of day or keep on displaying and loving and enjoying it.

Last year when I mentioned to my 90 year old Godmother  [ she who had signed it on behalf of her then 18 month-old son ] that I still had it, she was utterly gobsmacked.She shouldn’t have been really. My mother kept anything with a sentimental attachment, and I am very much her daughter.

Witness this next treasure:

You may have already spotted it on the shelf of Nativity sets in an earlier post but it deserves closer attention.

Again we’re looking at those wonderful soft 50s graphics.

It says so right there on the back – 1950 – in my mother’s distinctive hand.

So, I know that this was bought their first Christmas as a married couple. It cost a  1/3 [12c] at a time when my librarian father earned around 7 pounds [ $14 ] a week

I would be willing to bet that if you’d told the English company that produced it, that one would still survive … in use … in Australia … more than 60 years later, they wouldn’t have believed you. The same could probably be said of whoever designed my Night-Before-Christmas card too.

and Mum’s habit of dating things again:

My oldest Father Christmas. Unmarked. Possibly Japanese. Probably bought at Coles.

He was just always around at Christmas, and as long as I can remember having Santa, I’ve also had these three

As Senior Citizens, they now spend most of the year cocooned in cotton quilt batting, but for 6 weeks or so a year, they hang out in the kitchen keeping company with all those snowmen from yesterday’s installment.

Who has similar treasures to share?

5 days 4 hours 27 minutes


7 thoughts on “Vintage Yuletide Treasures

  1. Marian Clark says:

    You are so lucky to still have your loved treasures. My Mum and Dad lost everything in the Ash Wednesday fires. Maybe that is why I seek out the old chenille ornaments now (as well as many other things).

  2. Lynne says:

    I have “old” remnants of my childhood to share with you – but you’ll have to wait because the (live) tree doesn’t go up until Christmas Eve in our house and comes down on 6th January – a tradition I’ve inherited from my parents!

    • catsmum says:

      I totally go with bringing it all back down on jan 6 – Twelfth Night – Lynne … except for this year when I’ll have guests here on the 7th and there is no way i’m going to subject them – or myself – to the chaos that is the Great Takedown 🙂

  3. gayle says:

    I don’t have any Christmas stuff from my childhood. I do have some ornaments that I made 35-40 years ago, because we didn’t have money to buy ornaments for the tree. (My daughter, who is in her mid-thirties, told me recently that when she was in college she was reminiscing with some fellow students about childhood Christmases. As she was describing making ornaments out of tinfoil and egg cartons, and paper chains out of old magazine pages, it suddenly occurred to her: “Hey! We were Poor!” I was glad that she hadn’t noticed at the time…) (And I even had some of those tinfoil-egg carton ornaments left (they had blue ribbon rather than red or green, because blue was all I had on hand at the time) when she was grown up and had her own tree, so I shared them with her.)

  4. Val Groombridge says:

    the only Christmas memorablia I have with me in in OZ is a lovely old toffee tin with Father Christmas on it, can’t remeber when I got it but it is always on display, all year round.

  5. donna lee says:

    When I got married (30 yrs ago) my husband’s father gave us some ornaments from his grandfather. We have some porcelain angels that get a special place on the tree and some glass beads that hold pride of place each year. We also have a horse and wagon that once went on the train platform when my husband was a child. It isn’t Christmas until that comes out. It’s mostly glue at this point from all the years of repair but it’s still there. And I know my kids will fight over it when we’re gone.

  6. […] salute your intestinal fortitude ] or you haven’t [ in which case … go … now … and … have … a … look […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s